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Session: 1775: Rebellion:: Slightly expanded thoughts after second game

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 23:00:48 +0000

by NeedsNewDice I was impressed enough with my first game of 1775, that I went and bought my own copy shortly after. Just wanted to expand on some thoughts I posted after my first game.In my second game I played was a three player bout with myself, “Jim,” and “Brandon.” All three of us are regular gamers. Only myself had played (once) before but the others had played 1812: Invasion of Canada.With that foundation, rules explanation went smoothly and we were playing within about ten minutes. I took on the role of the British with Jim taking the patriots and Brandon the colonial regulars.One or two turns in and I was able to bring the Hessians into play at Nova Scotia. However, due to some poor planning on my part it was a few more turns before they were able to do be brought to any king of effective use. Fighting for the central colonies was intense, particularly around Rhode Island , Massachusetts and Connecticut. Although I was never able to hold onto these areas for very long, I pressed into the territories several times (and held Rhode Island for a decent amount of time). The Americans never really challenged me in my home territories of Nova Scotia or Quebec, but I also made sure to keep these somewhat fortified. I broke a small force away from Quebec to gather Native American allies and sweep into Pennsylvania and the surrounding area. The Americans solidified control of the south about midway through the game. An occasional nuisance, I never seriously challenged their authority in that area. I was forced to play one of my truce cards early on in the game. Fortunately, my opponents were not able to get both of their truce cards out during the two to three rounds where they had me at a disadvantage (due to controlling the central and southern colonies). The game ended in round 7 when I was able to play my second truce card. Final score was 7-5 in favor of the British. However if it had ended two rounds earlier, the situation could easily have been reversed.This is the second game I've played of 1775, and I'm already appreciating it as a more finely tuned version of 1812. I still feel it's definitely worth owning both games if you are a fan of the system (which I am). They feel different enough that although the rules are similar, the experience is not.However, unless I have five people (and I love 1812 for accommodating that many), I see myself bringing out 1775 more often, at least in the near future. Why?1) Feels more balanced. Primarily because it is 2 vs 2 instead of 3 vs 2. Each side gets an equal number of turns each round. 2) Map feels more dynamic. Primarily because there are no key objective points to capture, every part on the map is potentially important. Although maneuvering was important to a degree in 1812, you were always driving towards and focused on the key objective points. In addition, the elimination of homeland territories eliminates the hesitancy to attack into enemy territory. In 1812, there was a serious detriment to attacking into enemy territory versus your own. In 1775, the attacker is always at a disadvantage. This sounds like a weird thing, but somehow the fact that you are always at a disadvantage attacking eliminates hesitancy to attack some territories but not others. Finally, the fact that you can reinforce into any cities in controlled colonies opens the map as opposed to the fixed reinforcement points on 1812. Your armies could thus come in from any area on the map as opposed the north (Britain) or south (America) in 1812. 3) Hessians and the French! The fact that both sides have elite forces that can come into the war at any point and potentially turn the tide of battle is just fun. Sidenote: Although I really like the Native Americans being their own faction in 1812, I do like how they work mechanically in 1775. It's an interesting choice you make whether to spend valuable movements to recruit Native Americans or not. Those extra dice can be huge but you also want to avoid facing against a Native American army as they'll cancel each other out. [...]

Session: EuroFront II:: Part 2: Barbarossa

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 23:00:15 +0000

by Jfuller April 1941By now the inevitability of a war in the Soviet Union had become apparent on both sides. Britain was hemmed onto their island; all the rest of Europe save Greece was under fascist hands, and the only possibility for decisive victory rested in Germany’s ability to secure resources from the East.The Soviet Union knew this, and was churning out its army as quickly as possible. It was being deployed around Minsk and Gomel; and Stavka expected it to react to any possible thrusts through the centre or south into Ukraine. Bessarabia was lightly defended as a portion of the German army was tied down in Greece, but the addition of a HQ on a frontline hex weakened its position. It was the result of being caught off-guard by the announcement of Bessarabia cessation earlier (I had forgotten of the event for some reason). The rest of the Red Army stretched across the frontline to prevent any German incursion. The only other major formation was its Finnish Army group, which would remain to protect Leningrad.May 1941Germany would likely have its army at top strength by June; the estimated month of invasion. Interestingly, I had forgotten about the Curzon Line DE at the beginning of the game (wasting a precious HQ to do so), and thus it seemed I had retained its use. As German troops were railed forward to Polish frontier, Stalin ordered units from the Baltic States and the Carpathians to oppose them on the Curzon line. Soviet strength was very high, due in part to a completion of Red Army Reforms in December, but it had failed almost every strategic reserve roll. Greece continued to fight, but its defeat was imminent as Athens was under siege. Allied forces decided in June not to increase its MF allocation higher than 20 as its forces were almost completely built there, but the Germans raised theirs to match.June 1941-August 1941Operation BarbarossaAt dawn on the first day of June, German HQs in southern Poland and Hungary activated and blitzed alongside one German HQ activation in northern Poland. As German units crossed into the Soviet Union, it would seem as the main attack would come through Ukraine. This was slightly unexpected as many German troops were tied down in Greece or still in the process of railing eastwards. Stavka had predicted a main attack along the Minsk-Smolensk line and had strong forces there. The Germans then had decided not to attack there. Thus the first units to hit the Soviet line were in Bessarabia where due to surprise they crossed the river with no resistance but failed to breakthrough immediately. Moving up the line the units from Eastern Poland battered Red Army units south of Pinsk. This is where the main portion of the Soviet southern Army group was located and, under heavy air and armour attack it became clear that they would not be able to hold. The Ukr HQ which commanded the region had been stupidly stationed in a hex without any rail (the only one) and now saw its army group being smashed to bits by the brunt of the German forces. By the end of the first fortnight the situation was that a German Army group had broken through into the Ukraine and was threatening an encirclement of the southern Red Army forces along with two HQs. This relieved pressure off Minsk and Moscow but was disastrous for Red Army power. The Allies attempted to distract Hitler by launching a raid into Calais. It was made with weakened units and was repulsed but the German leader was shaken at how close it was. It failed however to make any difference in the Eastern Front. Surprised, the Red Army remain immobilized as the Germans closed the trap in Ukraine. Odessa was sieged, where the freshly constituted 27th army was raised only a month prior. Finally the Stavka jumped into action as they shook off his initial shock by the destruction of such large part of the Red Army. Units were railed as quickly as they could to Eastern Ukraine to protect is production centres. The situation there was critical. Thankfully it was not so in the centre, where Wes[...]

Session: Root:: After hearing all game how he should help this or that faction win, in the end our Vagabond took victory for himself.

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 19:52:18 +0000

by Arktec

I got a chance to play a four-person game this past weekend on my PnP version and it had the closest finish I've seen so far.

As expected, the Marquise and Eyrie got off to an early lead, trading control of clearings back and forth, with the Vagabond (Raccoon) tailing close behind. The Alliance was a non-factor and went entirely ignored for the first half of the game.

Eventually, the Marquise had stagnated around 34 points with nowhere left to build and few warriors. The Eyrie had driven an assault all the way through the Cats to the opposite corner but were facing imminent turmoil at 35 points. The Alliance had taken everybody by surprise with two or three key turns full of conspiracies (particularly bribes), supplied by cards and supporters from the Vagabond, and sitting at 33 points. Lastly, the Vagabond had allied with the Marquise, led battles, stole from the rich and gave to the poor, and was sitting at 31 points.

The Marquise in desperation, with little means to gain points and close the gap to 40, played the Chaos Victory card, hoping the Alliance and Vagabond would step just over the line. The Eyrie, knowing that their first turmoil was going to overtake them and they wouldn't cash their final points, played the Military Victory card and easily took the Keep with 11 warriors. The Alliance made a final push for 40, but the other factions had wisely burned hideouts and ceased aid and so they fell short at 38 points.

Sitting at 31 points, it seemed the Vagabond had a choice. They could earn what points they could, pass 33, and let the Marquise win during their birdsong, or they could hold back and let the Eyrie, holding the keep, win during their birdsong. What nobody thought would happen is that the Vagabond would have just enough cards in hand and just the right relationships set up to be able to put together exactly 9 more points, the final 2 points as a gift to the Cats with their last card in hand.

It was a perfect ending. The victory cards added a ton of drama and nobody was disappointed with the outcome. I just really wanted to share.

Session: Gloomhaven:: The Doom Patrol - Part III (Spoilers)

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 11:48:52 +0000

by Rob Watkins Prosperity 1.1, Reputation -3 tick (+1 cost on all purchases). Level 1 cragheart, level 1 mindthief, level 2 scoundrel.When hosting, I generally set-up the first scenario we intend to play to save some time. Given mindthief missed the last session, I solicited her player's opinion on which scenario he would like to try. He exclaimed "Treasure!" so back to S76 for us. But first, the scoundrel needed to select her level 2 perquisite. We noticed that all three characters could ignore dungeon effects, so we thought about the possibility of taking that to make Windswept Highlands easier. But S1, Black Barrow, is our real gating factor and it has no dungeon effects at all. So scoundrel ended up removing two -1 cards from her combat deck instead. R24B unlocked S82 during our journey to Harrower Hive.In S76 itself, we took the same path that we took last time. There were a few extra monsters given we had three mercenaries instead of two, but the synergies between the three characters more than made up for it. We dispatched all of the giant vipers and living bones along the way. The harrowers with their massive health and prodigious retaliate were daunting. We destroyed a wall section behind them and peeked within. Loot and treasure! We scooped up everything in the final room, then earned a few more XP impaling ourselves upon the might of the harrowers. The treasure chest yielded some arcane script which we translated. Knowledge is power, but incomplete knowledge is useless. Not exactly the windfall we were looking for.Back to Gloomhaven feeling pretty good about ourselves. C05B netted us 5 gold each. Cragheart and mindthief purchased blessings. Mindthief bought a war hammer. Cragheart bought hide armor, adding a pair of -1 combat cards to his deck. We decided to head back to S1 Black Barrow. R25A cost us 5 gold each. Bothersome Inox.We decided to try a strategy using only two cragheart created obstacles, leaving two spaces for the bandit guards to occupy. This was attempted because the guards stand around 25% of the time, and get fairly quickly dispatched once they do arrive. The 1st level mindthief felt that she doesn't contribute a whole lot when there is nothing to melee, so we opened it up a bit. I would judge that this experiment failed. The scoundrel ended up losing three cards in the first room alone preventing damage. We did manage to clear the first two rooms though. The cragheart ended up jumping into the final room and obtaining one of the loot pieces on the ground.C19B cost us a collective -5 gold. Cragheart and mindthief both made level 2. Cragheart selected Explosive Punch, while mind thief took Hostile Takeover. Cragheart now ignores negative item effects. Mindthief removed a pair of -1 cards from her combat deck. Cragheart bought an iron helm. Scoundrel purchased a poisoned dagger. Cragheart and mind thief purchased blessings, bringing our cumulative donations to the great oak up to 60 gold. R03B was a non event on our way back to S1 Black Barrow.With the addition of another ranged attack in mindthief's arsenal, we went with another four obstacle bunker with one opening in it to start the scenario. Early on, bandit guards drew their initiative 35 card which allows them to make range 2 attacks. Ouch. We always knew this card would be a problem, and it lived up to its billing, forcing cragheart to lose cards to prevent early exhaustion. On the bright side, this opened up the opportunity for cragheart to us explosive punch to attack three bandit guards. Invisibility prevented most of the remaining damage, so we came out of the first room in relatively decent shape.The archers in room two were a horrific this time. They caused the cragheart to lose 3 more cards preventing damage prior to being disarmed and dispatched. We're going to try a new strategy next time. Cragheart is going to open the door, rushing into the room and tossing forceful storm at two of the archers. This will likely cause them to move forward to bas[...]

Session: Streets of Stalingrad (third edition):: Tractor Factory

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 11:46:11 +0000

by Platell

Well I finally managed to get over my disappointment regarding the cancellation of Streets of Stalingrad 4.

Being the 75th anniversary of the battle of Stalingrad, I thought that I would re-read my favourite book on the battle "Island of Fire: The Battle for the Barrikady Gun Factory" by Jason Mark.

I then dragged out my old copy of Streets of Stalingrad 3, which I had not played for over 3 years, placed out the maps, and started reading the rules again.

By some luck I had a free Sunday. Left at home alone. So I set up the Tractor Factory scenario and sat down to play. I chose this scenario as I had not previously played it. I have previously played "the grain elevator", "the guards counterattack", "siege of spartovka"and "the orlovka" scenarios

I had forgotten how good this game was. Over the next 10 hours I managed to play through five days. It was interesting, tense, and engrossing. I didn't stop for lunch.

For the Germans, taking and holding city and factory positions is really difficult. Tactical movement is limited. Positions are taken with overwhelming firepower. On the other hand, the Soviets receive excellent artillery support from the East Bank, and Soviet Guard and Marine units can instantly counter-attack to retake lost positions. Plus they receive ample reinforcements in the form of the 138th Rifle division. Having read the book by Jason Mark, the mechanics of this game seem to fit in well with what happened in real life.

In reality, the Germans took the Tractor factory in two days of fighting. I only managed to surround it in 5 days of fighting. Although I did manage to seize the Volga crossing points behind the factory.

This is such a priceless game. I find it difficult to think of a more enjoyable gaming experience that I have had in the last 3 years. A day to be remembered.

Session: Twilight Imperium: Fourth Edition:: First Time Run T4

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 11:29:59 +0000

by Cristobal512773

We had six contenders for Galactic Overlord in our first run of the 4th edition of Twilight Imperium. Ultimatley the Ghosts of Creuss made good on the Galaxie's nightmares by just defeating the ever growing Sardakk N'Orr fleets. The Nekro virus eventually over-ran Mecatol Rex and seemed poised to consume all.The gentel Naalu, paralized while in galactic analysis paralysis, were nonetheless powerful and in contention. The Arborec spread far into the Yin Brotherhood's space and a great war consumed both races. Exploiting these facets the mysterious Creuss prevailed against all in a mere 6 turns of the intergalactic whoseawhatsit.

All the players had run t3 previously and we used the 'first time players map'. We included all 17 races and drew them randomly. We included promissory notes. Only the host (Yin Brotherhood) and another rules lawyer type person (Naalu) had reviewed the new rules extensivley. Seemed mostly to stay the same I thought. Seating order clockwise was Yin, Naalu, Nekro, Arborec, Creuss and Sardakk.

The alliance making offered by the promisory notes is an incredible addition. Early on the Yin made allainces with Naalu on the left and Sar'dakk on the right freeing up all kinds of misguided mischief. Commodities vs trade notes are interesting and also a tool to reward cooperation. The net effect is alliance making. We were super close to a 3 vs 3 situation for a couple turns, something I've long dreamed of in endeavors like Game of Thrones, another FFG masterpeice.

We totally screwed up the Agenda portion of the game by not refreshing planets afterward. The actual laws we were voting on were realativley unimportant but we had a Nekro player we were screwing with during these so in hindsight he wants an asterik. I couldn't seem to keep the PDSII shots straight. Its only -active- player that can be shot player. Both Construction and Warfare secondary abilities weren't managed correctly in that they don't care if you've a counter there already. And not only did your host and rules lawyer here not start with any tech like he was supposed to but he didn't read the rules on his flagship the Van Hauge. In fact the Arborec spent two action cards killing it before we read the ability, as all four other players erupted in cheers of triumph over our mutual destruction!

I somewhat blame the writing and design of the rule book. Given that there was a light overview and then a rules reference led me to believe that anything new was in the former. Took me till turn three to realize there weren't transfer actions anymore. Glad they're gone but dang! We also found a typo in the tech trees, specifically the Hyper Metabolism tech. It should read get 3 instead of 2. Should we get replacements free?

Overall grade of A. Everyone attending is more than willing to run it back more informed by the rules. Hope everyone else has as much fun with it.

Session: Twilight Imperium: Fourth Edition:: Space lions and a bunch of other freaks

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 03:39:25 +0000

by KhazModan Players were; Hacan/Sol/Barony/L1z1x/Saar/SardakThe Emirates of Hacan have been a key component in the Lazax empire for several thousand years. Their trade ships are welcome to all systems and they can make a profit in every trade deal. To cement their power even more, the systems in the Hacan sphere of influence are some of the richest and most influential in all of the galaxy (both the Bereg and Meer system were adjacent to their home system), the setback in the otherwise excellent starting position were the B-wormhole who blocked the advance towards Mecatol Rex system and the Lirta IV system next to Mecatol. On the other side of the B-wormhole were the predatory L1z1x Mindnet.The Hacan started to further their technological advances and managed to upgrade both their carriers and develop Gravity drive. Trade ships who returned from the Clan of Saar and the L1z1x talked about border tensions and that a war might be brewing on the other side of the galacy.Second year, the Hacan have been preparing an advance against Mecatol Rex but get the news that peace has been brokered between the Saar and L1z1x. The L1z1x fleet might now turn around and come through the B-wormhole. To discourage the Mindnet Hacan re-direct all fighting forces to block the wormhole. But it seems that the Barony of Letnev have infiltrated the Hacan trade network and make an alfa-strike towards Mecatol rex conquering the planet right before the Hacan. In pure frustration the Hacan launch their attack without the support of the attack ships. It is a close call but the Barony manage to repel the space lions this time. L1z1x turn their fleet against the flanks of Letnev and a border skirmish takes place, one planet falls to the mighty mindnet and both sides starts to pds up the planets. Third year, an uneasy peace is still going between L1z1x and Saar, to cement the peace they exchange Support of the Throne with each other. Hacan still frustrated about Mecatol Rex makes another attack but once again miscalculated and don´t have enough troops to conquer the central planet. Saar who have been laughing about the failures of the Hacan decide to show who it is done and launches a great fleet at Mecatol. The might Lions have gotten the news beforehand thanks to its network of spies and have already prepared a skilled retreat.During voting Barony of Letnev gives their Support of the Throne to Hacan to help them. Success!Forth year, the Hacan gets it´s lucky break. The Saar is having trouble back home with both L1z1x and Sardak Norr making advances at their territory and evacuates Mecatol rex, Hacan quickly swoops in and secures the system. This is the peak of the Hacan empire. During voting in the senate, disaster strikes. Worm hole research is draw, if the law passes all ships in wormhole system are destroyed and the owners get a tech. It is bad for both the Hacan and L1z1x mindnet who both would lose 2 dreadnought and a cruiser, but it is a disaster for the Saar who would lose both spacedocks and a majority of their fleet. Despite lobbying from both the Hacan and Saar it is voted through.Year five. It would seem that it was the threat of the Saar´s fleet who kept the galaxy in relative peace, with it gone all hell breaks loose. L1z1x takes Saars home system and Sardak Norr finishes Saars extinction by taking their last planet. Barony of Letnev sees Hacans weakness and attacks Mecatol rex, but fails to take the planet thanks to Hacans connections in the senate (action card). Sardak Norr now has free reign and takes both the Lirta IV system and Bereg system from Hacan.Realizing that their whole existence is in danger the Emirates retreats back to their home system and starts to consolidate their forces.Once again the senate gathers and another agenda that will shape the galaxy goes up for voting; Swords to plowshares (destroy half of all ground forces on every planet). If this is vo[...]

Session: Here I Stand:: Here I Stand - 09 de dezembro

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 01:21:47 +0000

by tiagoVIP Partida de estreia de todos. Levou um bom tempo para separar as peças, preparar o cenário e aprender o grosso das regras. As primeiras horas foram travadas, cheias de consultas acerca de diversas situações. Ficou claro que não terminaríamos dentro de 8 horas, como imaginávamos.A divisão das casas ficou:Trentini (Inglaterra)Rafael (Papado)Jorge (Otomanos)Fabiano (Protestantes)André (França)Tiago (Habsburgos)De começo, os Otomanos tiveram grande vantagem - montaram uma armada forte e conseguiram tomar posições importantes, ocupando toda a Hungria e batendo nas portas da Europa Ocidental - os Habsburgos tentaram impedi-los, levando grande exército para Buda e sendo massacrados. Em resposta, os Otomanos moveram seus exércitos, tomando Pressburg e, pior, sitiando Viena, após novo massacre.Na Espanha, os Habsburgos espalharam e ampliaram seus exércitos, protegendo Navarra e Barcelona, o que assustou a França, que armou-se em Marselha e Bordéus, sob a supervisão do Rei Francis I; uma tensão grande que nunca chegou a se concretizar.Parte disso deve-se porque a França e a Inglaterra fizeram o que fazem melhor: brigar entre si. Foram diversas escaramuças e batalhas em Ruão, Bolonha-sobre-o-Mar e até mesmo em Paris, duas vezes. Nenhuma dessas lutas foi definitiva - a maioria os ingleses levaram vantagem, porém os franceses, após aliarem-se com os Habsburgos, puderam se concentrar na guerra contra a Inglaterra, recuperando seus exércitos e marinha tão rápido quanto estes eram perdidos.Os Protestantes iam traduzindo os textos sagrados e espalhando seus ensinamentos pela Alemanha e região, de maneira muito mais rápida do que o Papado era capaz de contra-reformar. Não demorou para apenas haver apenas poucos bolsões católicos no sul, perto da Itália. Os debates entre a Reforma e o Papado eram indeterminados.Otomanos - 19Papado - 18Protestantes - 15Habsburgos - 13França - 12Inglaterra - 10Os Otomanos seguiam fortes, porém pararam de pressionar a Europa pelo oeste, satisfeitos em tomar Viena. Até porque várias vezes seu líder, Solimão, o Magnífico, teve de retornar para Istambul, atrasando o avanço dos exércitos. Mesmo assim, sua armada tomou os mares - tanto que puderam mover tropas para o norte da África e para a Itália, primeiro ocupando Messina e, depois, atacando Nápoles - novamente os Habspurgos não resistiram e perderam a cidade. O Papado ficou temeroso de ser invadido pelos Otomanos e passaram a recrutar exércitos.O sucesso dos Habsburgos - que perdiam terreno em todos os locais, exceto na Espanha - veio no além-mar. Seus exploradores foram aos Grandes Lagos e ao Rio São Lourenço; e seus conquistadores dominaram os Incas e os Astecas; além de formarem 3 colônias, em Cuba, na Ilha de São Domingos e em Porto Rico. Isso foi essencial para o esforço militar na Europa, já que as riquezas (cartas) advindas daqui permitiram aos Habsburgos manter os recrutamentos e montagem de barcos para tentar resistir à maré Otomana.França e Inglaterra continuavam em seu entrevero - porém o status mudou: a Inglaterra destruiu uma armada francesa que Ruão, só que a luta ali deu margem para um movimento ousado: os franceses, por Brest, invadiram a esvaziada Inglaterra e sitiaram e tomaram Londres! O Rei Henry VIII estava em York, ocupado em divorciar-se e casar-se duas outras vezes, na tentativa de obter um herdeiro, o que veio a ocorrer. Contudo, nem essa boa nova foi suficiente para recuperar o moral inglês quando o Henry suplicou por paz com a França, recuperando Londres, mas deixando o orgulho inglês na lama.Vendo o povo inglês em busca de esperança, a Reforma chegou ali forte. Em pouco tempo, apenas algumas cidades importantes estavam fora da área de influência dos Protestantes. Em resposta às estripulias carnais do Henry e à entrada dos Protestantes, o Papa Clemente excomun[...]

Session: Dropfleet Commander:: Dropfleet Commander – analiza taktyczna bitwy o Asgard (polish version

Wed, 13 Dec 2017 01:21:10 +0000

by Rocy7 Raport sytuacyjnyData 23 listopada 2672, system Asgard – dzień 600+ RekonkwistyAsgard Prime był niegdyś czołowym producentem pancerzy i czołgów ludzkości, przewyższając nawet Olympus Prime w tych branżach. Olbrzymie pokłady metalu i wyjątkowo gęste złoża tytanu i wolframu sprawiły, że ta planeta stanowi doskonałą bazę do budowy pancerzy, a nawet do eksportu do innych centrów produkcyjnych w innych systemach. Dwa księżyce, Valhalla i Sessrumnir, kiedyś mieściły tajne wojskowe stacje badawcze, niestety po inwazji Plagi utracono dostęp do tych danych.Cele taktyczne (obie strony)Cel główny – zdobyć i zabezpieczyć plany nowych czołgów UCM przez desant na lokalizacje dwóch wciąż istniejących centrów produkcyjnych (klustery naziemne-4 VP)Cel dodatkowy – zabezpieczyć stacje kosmiczne (3 VP)Cele poboczne – zabezpieczyć przestrzeń kosmiczną w punktach kluczowych nad celami głównymi i dodatkowymi.Wizualizacja pola bitwy Przed bitwą raport sytuacyjnySiły Shaltari admirał Ramses (Robert)Dziennik okrętowy admirała RamsesaPostanowiłem podzielić swoje siły na 2 główne części grupę zadaniową Skrzydło przeznaczoną do walki w kosmosie oraz grupę Pięść przeznaczoną do zabezpieczenia celów naziemnych.Grupa Skrzydło – 4 grupy bojowePlatinium – superlotniskowiec Shaltari. Wybrałem go z dwóch powodów. Pierwszym była potrzeba odpowiedniej ochrony admirała na okręcie, który zagwarantuje mu przeżycie bitwy. To obecność admirała pozwala flocie na wykonywanie złożonych manewrów (karty taktyki frakcji), a jego zbyt szybka utrata daje sporą przewagę przeciwnikowi. Drugim powodem wykorzystania Platinium była Akuma. Krążownik liniowy Scorge jest w zasadzie najlepszym okrętem tej klasy, w grze, jego siła ognia i niewykrywalność (full cloak) często przysparzały mi problemów. Bombowce są zaś bronią która trudniej oszukać niż sensory, więc niwelują największa zaletę Akumy – zaawansowane systemy maskowania.Opal – jego zadaniem jest zwiększanie przeżywalności jednostki, jaką chroni (przerzuty na pancerzu), czasem bywa wykorzystywany jako jednostka skanująca wystawiająca cel dla dział większych jednostek.Basalt – jest to lotniskowiec Shaltari przewożący 4 skrzydla lotnictwa , jego zadaniem ma być wsparcie Platinium, ewentualnie osłona mysliwska przed lotnictwem przeciwnika.Adamant – jest to krażownik liniowy Shaltari, wybrałem go gdyż potrzebowałem skoncentrowanej siły ognia, zwłaszcza liczyłem na jego broń cząstkową ignorująca pancerz przeciwnika.2 Amethyst – w walce przeciwko Scourge niejednokrotnie dużo straty powoływały lekkie fregaty klasy dzin – szybkie zabójcze jednostki. Ametysty maja podobna charakterystykę, wiec moim planem było wykorzystanie ich jako odpowiedz na ten rodzaj zagrożenia – niski SR tej grupy miał jej zapewnić reakcje przed przeciwnikiem.Grupa naziemna PieśćReszta mojej floty to jednostki, które miały mi zapewnić realizacje celów misji na powierzchni planety.3 Mothershipy – statki matki to jednostki wysyłające siły naziemne Shaltari za pośrednictwem Voidgate do opanowania kluczowych elementow infrastruktury przeciwnika. Z reguły brałem tylko 2 tego typu jednostki, ale często kończyło się po stracie jednego z tego typu okrętów zbyt duża przewagą oponenta w siłach na ziemii. Tym razem postanowiłem wiec wzmocni moje szanse na powierzchni planety kosztem sił kosmicznych.12 Voidgates – Voidy słuza do rozmieszczania armii przesłanej z mothershipow na powierzchni planet. Ponieważ sa bardzo kruche (2 HP) warto mieć ich zapas. Mogłem co prawda postawic na mieszane rozwiązanie, stawiając na mniejsza ilość Voidow i korwety jako ich osłone, ale korwety Shaltari nigdy mnie nie przekonywały swoja skutecznością.Przed bitwą [...]

Session: Nemo's War (second edition):: Into the Drink!

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 22:57:23 +0000

by MannyM

I get it... I'm being emotional... but I've just spent the better part of 3 hours abysmally losing two back-to-back sessions... and I'm not sure if I can take anymore.

There's so much to love about this game... it's such an interesting and complex puzzle... and I know I could be doing better with the decisions I'm making... but despite all that, those rolls... those bloody dice rolls! They're the death of me!

They create so much beautiful tension, and yet I find myself shouting at them in anger more often than I'm cheering in elation. And to hell with those DRM boosts when risking my ship resources. They're just adding to the tension and anger when it's just not rolling my way.

"ok", I'll say. "the last attack action was just unlucky. And surely if I attack again, and risk my crew for a +3 DRM, I'll sink this SOB... and everything will be fine". And I roll again. Another 2 and 1. No DRM in the world will help me now. Up goes the notoriety again... that ship still sitting there, staring at me smugly. Down my crew plummets. "ok, attack again... my luck has to turn"... and it happens again, and again... four attacks in a row.. my crew's stamina, like my patience, plummeting into the abyss.

I know that this is MEANT to be a punishing game. I know that even the best of us lose way more than they win... but when game time is limited, and luck is such a strong factor to success, I don't think I can justify the time spent on the experience.

Just one more time... I'll give it one more... *scratches at the increasing wounds on his neck*

Somebody save me.

Session: Churchill:: Most recent Churchill game

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 10:24:58 +0000

by Micanthropyre

Not sure how many plays in I am at this point actually, but this one is notable because it was the first time my brother played.

A bit of history: my brother happens to be my absolute nemesis in heavier strategy games. Two games in particular we play and they are always nail-biting, tense affairs. The King is Dead is a constant battle of play-counterplay while Stronghold is a back and forth, brain crushing exercise for whoever is defending the new tactics the attacker is throwing at him.

For as simple as Churchill is mechanically, there are an awful lot of issues that require explanation, the axis reserve deployment is still kind of opaque to new players, and the VP scoring is rough. It didn't take me long to forget it, but trying to explain it all was.... interesting.

The other experienced player and I had already decided that the US is the most forgiving faction to play so he took Stalin, my brother took the US and I took Churchill.

This particular game saw very little of the Global issue with Churchill swinging things to Colonialism and Stalin to Spheres of Influence and the US ignored the Global issue altogether. D-Day and the invasion of southern Italy happened at the same time, preventing any bonus VPs. Stalin ignored the Eastern Front until D-Day happened, instead working to get a few Pol-mil issues and the A-bomb. Unfortunately for Stalin, in the first or second conference the Far East Front moved up, opening up the Pacific theater for the US and the UK.

Once D-Day triggered, Stalin pivoted into a hard push on the Eastern front, getting a quick breakthrough and catching up to the Western Front. The US made a lot of good rolls in the Pacific to keep those fronts moving along at a good clip, often having only one Offensive Support and still succeeding with a 4 or less. Churchill kept a good push going on the CBI front, getting to Formosa Conference 7, getting rebuffed by Japan Conference 8, then getting into Japan on Conference 9 to prevent the Emperor Surrender Conditions.

Stalin fell behind the Western Front, giving him a good opportunity to break through into Germany in Conference 9, but rolled a 3 when he needed a 5 or better for a double move while the Western Front pushed into Germany to end the game.

We don't score during the game because when we do, the endgame gets to be way too much math and it really takes away from the thematic sense. Stalin had a very strong early game and paid the price later, clocking in at 42 points. Meanwhile, the US with the brand new player scored 64 points with the UK scoring 60, giving Churchill the win in Condition 2.

My brother spent literally 3 minutes staring at the board, mentally going through some of the decisions that he could have done differently to reduce the point spread so he would have won. Had Stalin succeeded on his roll to get into Germany the outcome of the game would have been different. I know this is a sore spot for a lot of people, but really the sense of a game well played is what my game group tends to strive for, and this was indeed a game well played.

Session: Comanchería: The Rise and Fall of the Comanche Empire:: Onto the Plains - [Session 2.3, The End?]

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 04:29:39 +0000

by Snowdog_2112 So at this point I have control of Upper Ark, both of my Rancherias are “hidden” from the Colonials, there are minimal enemy EAPs in play.There is a War Column on the move, as mentioned, however a WC setting up shop in Upper Arkansas does NOT remove control, so the victory condition is satisfied.Do I simply wait this one out?The Ops counter is moving toward PoT, but the PoT counter is still many turns from a roll check.I really messed up placement of Ranch B...I am going to have to run a band down there with some resources to help it out.Also I need to Culture Up. Let’s make those two items are priority for this session.3.1. War Column moves to LE1, we draw Fast Moving Column, and it ends on LE3.It's roll check is a “3”, so strength is reduced from 4-2 to 3-1. Not a bad turn for the Comanches.3.2 PoT counter ok3.3. We choose CULTUREIncrease Culture by 3. +1 RanchA, +1 RanchB, +1Control UARoll check indicates no PoT, but OPS counter moves to spot “4”3.4 CleanupDraw +3EAPs from the CUPRoll NorthFlip RAID2 to ENCR4*Do top action, ALLY2, and place on LE2 (I have no idea why)3.1. War Column draw +0 Move for WESTWar Column stays in UA3War Column Rolls “2” and drops to (2-1) strengthDraw War Card: W01 Alert Pickets3.2PoT Counter ok3.2. Choose to Activate Ranch A with 2 x (2-5) bandsSend one band on a HUNT with the Mahi at take bison on RR5Send other band with HORSE, 2xCaptives, 1xBison to PD Canyon and FINISH3.4Ops CleanupDraw +4EAP from the CUPRoll to Activate WESTRoll to flip CULT3 to PEACE4*Execute top Action WAR5 (they have 1 EAP on the track so we execute)Spend 5 EAPs and since we cannot create a 2nd West Column, we do 3.1 Steps (1+2)Move the WC to UA4. Roll check leaves strength intact at (2-1)**** Interesting rules question. My understanding is that this War Column can “see” into RR6, but cannot cross the dashed lines. So on next movement phase, if no bands are out in the open, it simply stays put?****3.1War Column does not move, but draws W11 for Move CardWar Column then rolls a “1” and reduces to (1-0)War Column then draws W10 and SURPRISE ATTACK!Place WC in RR6 with Rancheria A. I guess they CAN sometimes cross the dashed lines!I roll a “6” and win the battle AND the war. Mahi’ A moves medicine to 3.3.2. PoT Counter OK3.3I choose to HUNT twice and take Bison in UA4 and LA5.Move ops counter DOWN to “5” and check for PoT. Roll a 3. Let's do PoT.4.4. Passage of TimeStep 1 ….. All bands Marked UnfinishedStep 2 …..I create no new band countersStep 3 …..I upgrade no bandsStep 4 …..No new RancheriasStep 5 …..Retire Mahi’A and move Paraibo to medicine 3Step 6 …..Headman Checks:Pa: no checkMa: already 0Pb: no check, at 1Mb: no check, at 0Step 7 …..Reset Mahi’ MedicineMa: roll 6, set to 6/2=3Mb: roll 6, set to 6/2=3Step 8 …..No counters to returnStep 9 …..No resource counters to returnStep 10 …No ravaged token, reduce Military to 2Step 11 ….Roll “4” against the ALLY3 token and it goes back to EIDStep 12 ...Place Bison on RR5Step 13 ...Discard ALL 3 of the DEV cards. Note that Dev08 indicates that we move PoT DOWN one spot. This is good I think.Draw Dev09 COUNTING COUPDraw Dev07 SPANISH TRADE EMBARGODraw Dev12 GREAT HUNTStep 14 ….I will purchase 1 culture card. LORD OF THE PLAINS1Step 15 ….Move OPS counter to START and put PoT Counter on “3”3.4. Operations CleanUpAll bands are FinishedDraw Success...Enemy has 0 EAPs to spend.End of Session Notes: I guess all this hiding I am doing could pay off?As horribly unlucky on die rolls last game, I am MUCH better off this time round.I will probably do PLANNING in the next series of actions to get RanchB properly established and maybe moved into some proper enemy territory to I get Raid, R[...]

Session: Comanchería: The Rise and Fall of the Comanche Empire:: Onto the Plains [Session 2.2] w/VASSAL Photos!

Tue, 12 Dec 2017 03:06:44 +0000

by Snowdog_2112

First some cleanup from suggestions on sessions report 2.1
Moved the West EI SUBJ3 onto its proper place on the EID.

Now onto the plan after 2 rounds of RAID/HUNT actions.
- I would like to get my UTE ALLIANCE dev card out
- Get set up for a 2nd Rancheria
- Potentially do some more RAID/TRADE/HUNT actions, we shall see.

First we do PLANNING so I can get the dev card into play


Step 1No Sucess tokens on Mahi’ track
Step 2Same
Step 3Skip per Step 2
Step 4Take one(1) headman action, spend 1AP on Dev2 UTE ALLIANCE
Play UTE ALLIANCE, 1 x (3-4) band in Palo Duro Canyon
Step 5No Mahi’ with Medicine 0
Step 6Mark the 2 x (2-F) bands to 2 x (1-6) bands, resources to ranch box
Step 7Move RanchA to Red River6
Step 8Free Enemy Instruction
Roll 5, flip ALLY3 to RAID2
Executes HUNT, fails RECOVERY check, takes Bison on UA3
Step 9Move OPS counter to space “3”

Draw 3 EAPs (now 5 total)
Flip SUBJ3* to SETTLE3
Settles Llano Estacado 1
EAPs = 1, shown on tracker

3.1 No War Columns
3.2PoT counter still on START
3.3Activate RanchA with 1 x (1-6) and 1 x (2-5)

HUNT on RR6 with 1-6, take Bison, return
RAID on RR5, Draw success + 3 EAPs
Place Ravaged, take a bison
Return Home

Roll check for PoT: Rolls 2, lets do PoT

4.4 Passage of Time

Step 1Bands marked unfinished
Step 2/3Spend 2 bison to make 2 x (1-6) into 2 x (2-5)
Step4Create RancheriaB in PD Canyon
Step 5No retirees
Step 6Headman Death Check
Pa: rolls 6, no effect
Ma: rolls 4, no effect
Pb: rolls 1, dies, sets Medicine to 1
Mb: already at 0
Step 7Roll 4 for Mahi’B medicine, set to 2
Step 8Return 4 successes to CUP
Step 9No resources to return from tracks
Step 10Remove Tribes on UA4, UA5 and RR5
Step 11No PEACE or ALLY counters on the map
Step 12Rolls 1 for Bison, places on UA4
Since 1 empty dev card space, rolls 2, put Bison on RR5
Step 13Discard 2 remaining dev cards 01, 03
Draw 21, MILD WINTER, do Step 12
Rolls 2 for RR, all spaces full, move RR4 to UA5
Rolls 6 for RG, all spaces full, move RG4 to RR4
Draw 05, discard all dev cards (none, I played UTE ALLIANCE)
Step 14I have but 2 Culture Points, so I choose not to buy a culture card
Step 15Move OPS counter to START, move PoT counter to space “5”
I place the North WAR6 instruction into the cup from the Track.

Operations Cleanup #4

Step 1Done
Step 2No Finished Bands
Step 3Draw Success, return to CUP
Step 4Enemy has 4 EAPs (1 on trac, and 3 in box from my raid just prior to PoT.
Rolls 5, WEST
Rolls 2, Flip PEACE3 to WAR5

Top Enemy instruction is WAR3 and we execute

No existing WEST war columns or ravaged counters
Create a war band on their home square, Strength 4 (+1 for Settlement on LE1).

Session: Bridge:: Ain't Life Grand?

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 22:19:43 +0000

by Bankler I head over to the Club for the Holiday party. Free food, free game. I don't have a partner lined up, but its still free food and I'll play or kibitz depending on who shows up. As I'm munching on the first plate of desserts it turns out that an expert has double booked so there is a strong player that I've played with before needing a partner. We quickly agree to a card so I can attack the dessert table some more.Even better, I win a raffle for a free play with an expert player (much stronger than myself). The game is now officially just a bonus. It's going somewhat average-plus-ish. We get fixed by our late opponents because the director sits in to get us started and he probably gets the hand right they'd get wrong. But we get gifts to balance. Then I pick up this hand:S: Kx H:Axxx D:Kx C:AKJxxI open 1 Club, partner bids 1 Heart and I have a choice. I decide on 4 Hearts. I may be a point light, but I have a fifth club and lots of controls. I think 4H is the right bid. As added protection, even if we are too high (or partner's continuation gets us too high) the LOLs we're playing against may mis-defend (against slam that's not as likely). Partner bids 4 NT, and I bid 5 Hearts, showing two "Aces" (including the King of Hearts as an ace) and denying the heart queen. I figure partner will pass, but he bids 5 NT, showing all the "aces" and the heart queen. I remember the card we agreed on. His bid asks me to show specific kings, so I bid 6 Clubs, to show the club king.Then I quietly kick myself. I have all the remaining kings. I should have bid 7 Hearts, (or, maybe, 6N) to convey that I'm Roy Orbison. ("Anything you want, you got it.") Hearing that, partner may be able to convert to the higher-scoring matchpoint 7N that should be cold (if he bids it) and a tie for top.Partner bids 6 Diamonds, saying "This is the one I want."I could bid seven hearts now, but that wouldn't show the spade king. Can I recover? I think so. I bid 6 Spades. This clearly won't be passed. Partner frowns (as well he should) and 'corrects' to 6 NT. I now re-correct to 7 Hearts. I hope that if 7N is cold partner can figure it out, but as I've misbid....Partner passes. 7N is cold, but after my auction partner didn't want to risk it, and I don't blame him. If I had bid 7H directly we'd have gotten there, and (surprisingly) would have been the only table out of 26 to bid it. Perhaps my 4H was an overbid after all.Still, getting to the grand is -- in this mixed field -- well above average. At least a few pairs don't even get to the slam, and only about 20% of the field bid a grand.Later, we are on the other side of it of a grand-slam potential hand.I holdS:JT8 H:Q9xx D:Tx C:J9xxand listen to this auction:LHO RHO--------1D 1S1N 4C* (*Ace asking)4S* 5C** (*2 aces, ** King ask)5H* 6N (*1 king)RHO paused for a bit after 6N. She clearly was contemplating the grand, so they have all the aces and kings. Partner leads the 9 of diamonds and dummy tables the following hand:S: AQ9xx H:Kx D:Kx C:AKxDummy then says "I had a very good hand."I respond "It's better than you know." Because just the once the hand I've listed is not a typo (with only twelve cards) but the actual hand she put down. It's better than she knew because she has a sixth spade stuck behind the 9 (it's the seven). With six spades (assuming a 3-2 break, which there is) two ace-kings, declarer only needs a single queen for the grand to be there, or the heart jack and the working finesse.Everyone else notices the sixth spade now, and dummy is gnashing her teeth. Declarer listens to this banter and plays low from dummy, I play the three and declarer .... plays the 9! Dummy about falls out of her chair. It takes partner and I second [...]

Session: Stonewall Jackson's Way II:: The Retreat to Washington, 21-23 July 1861 (All Green Alike scenario #5)

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 21:35:19 +0000

by lomn It is July 21, 1861, and General Irvin McDowell's Union Army of Northeastern Virginia has just fled from the battlefield at Bull Run. He reported his situation as follows: "The larger part of the men are a confused mob, entirely demoralized. IT was the opinion of all the commanders that no stand could be made on this side of the Potomac. We will, however, make the attempt at Fairfax Court-House."Meanwhile, in the Confederate army, the legend of "Stonewall" Jackson has begun, but senior general Joseph Johnston writes in response to urging from Confederate President Davis to pursue the Union that "our army was more disorganized by victory than that of the United States by defeat." James McPherson writes in Battle Cry of Freedom that "the prospect of 'taking' Washington in July 1861 was an illusion.... McDowell formed a defensive line of unbloodied reserves at Centreville on the night of July 21. Early next morning a heavy rain began to turn the roads into soup. Confederate logistics were inadequate for a sustained advance even in good weather." Historically, the Confederates made a tentative attack across the lower Bull Run fords and desisted when they found Union units still intact on the far bank.Nevertheless, this scenario prompts the players to engage in that hypothetical Confederate pursuit of the routed Union army over three days. The first turn begins late in the day with many units already heavily fatigued from the day's fighting, and the timeframe will progress from daylight to dusk to night (at which point no attacks are possible). Rain falls on Day 2, blocking fords and slowing the roads, leaving only Day 3 for a full-bore pursuit by the Confederates, but much of the Union army will have reorganized by that point.The Confederate player has two sets of territorial objectives: Fairfax Court House and Fairfax Station, about halfway from Bull Run to Washington, and the line of Falls Church — Annandale — Springfield just outside Washington. The Union army is under the effects of army panic, suffering a permanent negative combat modifier but able to perform "retreat marches" to extended fatigue levels during the first two days.This is a solo play-through.Scenario OverviewThe Union army begins this scenario in poor condition; the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Divisions are all generally fought out with 2nd and 3rd Divisions demoralized and generally marched to the point of maximum fatigue. However, Richardson's 5th Division is a ready reserve at the front and the various elements of 4th Division (which did not operate as a division historically and so have no centralized command structure) hold the Fairfax objectives and the surrounding terrain. McConnell's brigade can shift between the 1st and 5th Divisions as needed; for this game, it begins deployed with the 5th and generally operates in that context.On the Confederate side, the most significant ready force are the three brigades of Bonham, Longstreet, and DR Jones under Johnston's command opposite the Bull Run fords from the Union 5th Division; they represent the Confederate reserve that P.G.T. Beauregard had originally intended for his own offensive operations prior to the Union attack. To the northwest, at the battle field, Beauregard has 9 brigades and 3 regiments of infantry; of these, six have a combat value of at least 3 (suitable for offensive operations) and all are at least moderately fatigued. Beauregard also has three detachments of cavalry in his area.Finally, Bull Run Bridge is destroyed in this scenario; when rain falls on Day Two, the only crossings on Bull Run will be the Stone Bridge and the bridges near Sudley Springs, all several miles upstream. Johnston's Railroad an[...]

Session: Twilight Imperium: Fourth Edition:: Six-player session, 10 hours, one big screwup on my part

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 21:17:24 +0000

by DarkLanternZBT This is my second game in Ti4, played at my FLGS with a group of five others - half of us not realizing exactly what we were about to subject ourselves to.Factions going clockwise:Arborec (OP)Embers of MuaatClan of SaarMentak CoalitionWinnuGhosts of CreussI've had the most experience with TI, the Mentak and Saar player had second-most, with the rest having no games under their belts.Firstly - Getting people into the game cold is still a bit of a feat. These are all advanced gamers, so I gave them the big, top-down approach (Get to 10 points, don't get distracted, here are the phases of a round, here's what a typical turn looks like) before getting into nitty-gritty during play. Setup and rules explanation still took about an hour, but the players who were in the previous game helped with that.Galaxy setup was solid, we chanced into not having two double-planet tiles and lots of anomalies or empty space, so everyone had nice borders to each other. The Creuss player had all the wormholes, the Muaat / Saar / Mentak side of the board was getting feisty with each other off the bat, so it looked like a good start for me in Arborec country.Early GameSaar starts doing their nomad thing, and moving their space docks caused a big stir as everyone realized just how powerful moving and producing at the same time were. The Ghosts quietly tiptoed into their wormhole network, setting up near several wormhole systems and teching into mobility for their ships. I took Arborec up the middle to claim a forward base for MRex with Warfare, with the intention of producing and backfilling for a turn to get all my territory online. Mentak and Winnu started squabbling over territory and piracy, so all the aggression was heaped on the other side of the board.The biggest misplays happened here, and in the transition to the midgame - as Arborec, I didn't quite grasp how the plants were supposed to multiply. I read Mitosis, knew the flagship could produce units (but had to stay put), but I didn't realize their infantry had Production 1 as an ability. That would have greatly changed my early game, in which I focused on tons of PDS to work on my secret objective and create a giant fence to discourage people from coming my way. Instead I would have swarmed up toward MRex sooner and kept a giant forest of infantry behind me to keep the planets firmly green and teched their special infantry upgrade.MidgameThe Creuss player as a result got to Mecatol in force and set up shop, but did not claim Imperial. They didn't have the means to score more than one public objective a turn, and the player said they didn't want to suddenly turn into a target by getting one point a turn. This kept people from attacking Mecatol for many rounds, but it also prolonged the game.Muaat got their war suns online but stayed in their space, while the Saar player kept dropping ships everywhere, gobbling up more and more of the board. Mentak consolidated power on their side of MRex, and everyone dug in for big battles to kick off... but nobody fired the first shot.EndgameSaar diverted from Mecatol Rex and cut through an asteroid anomaly to smack Arborec (me) in a weak spot, ditching Mecatol in favor of trying to wipe me out. His fleet was cut up by my Orbital Cannons, but he still wound up taking my most resource-heavy systems. Muaat followed suit and dunked on my Mecatol-adjacent system, cutting my ability to produce resources down by more than half. It also destroyed my upgraded Destroyers, which would have helped deal with the Saar player's other big fleet, which was now parked next to my homeworld. When all the plastic was wiped away, two of Saar's fleets[...]

Session: Churchill:: Churchill and Chill: A Brief AAR of my First Game of Churchill

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 21:16:40 +0000

by UndeadScobie IntroI was recently lucky enough to receive a fresh new copy of Churchill as an early Christmas present from myself. Once I'd eagerly cracked it open, stuck the stickers on all the things that needed stickers on and enjoyed the tactile pleasure of rubbing the lovely board on my face, I started my first game: the training scenario with me as Churchill, versus Stalinbot and Rooseveltbot. (I went with Churchill because it was his name and grouchy old face slapped all over the game, so I figured he deserved to be the star.)The First Conference: TOLSTOY BIn the Conference phase, I focus my efforts on grabbing a Pol-Mil issue and making sure that Strategic Materials and USSR Declares War on Japan end up in the middle of the table. In the process I discover how irritating Stalinbot can be, as he Nyets everything I'm trying to bring over to my side of the table. Rooseveltbot takes advantage of the tug-of-war to win the conference. He also wins the Global Issue, which he shouldn't have been able to do, as he can't advance issues this conference. This will be the first of several rules flubs I notice. Undoubtedly many more sailed under my radar.In the War phase, the Western Front makes it into West Germany, and I devote my Offensive Support to making sure the Soviets progress into Manchuria. Otherwise it's a poor round for the Allies, with no progress on any other fronts. I go to bed, shutting the dining room door to make sure the cat doesn't jump onto the table and mess up the pieces. Just like the real Churchill.The state of the game at the end of the first conferenceThe Second Conference: ARGONAUT AComing down in the morning, I realise that I shouldn't have been able to place any Political Alignment in Eastern Europe. I rectify this as best as I can. In the Conference phase, I learn how to avoid getting constantly Nyetted by Stalinbot, winning the conference. I grab leadership in both Europe and the Pacific, netting a huge amount of Offensive/Naval Support for myself. I also get the Global Issue, which again I shouldn't have been able to do, but Rooseveltbot shouldn't have had it last time so whatever. Stalinbot gets the A-Bomb. Sir Dudley Pound dies, the first casualty of the conferences, but he was rubbish anyway.In the War phase, I realise that it's very unlikely we'll be able to get a front into Japan before the end of the game, so I pump some production into the A-Bomb track to make sure we advance. It also occurs to me to tot up the scores to see how everyone's doing – you might have noticed that I completely forgot to use the score track in this game. I realise that I'm over 20 points ahead of the Soviets, so I resolve to try and boost them a little bit in the final conference. The Western Front makes it into Germany, securing German surrender, and the Eastern Front gets to East Germany. There's no progress anywhere else, so it's definitely now impossible for us to get a front into Japan before the war ends.At the end of the secondThe Third Conference: TERMINAL CIn the Conference phase, Rooseveltbot tragically malfunctions and has to be replaced by Trumanbot. To my annoyance, the Conference card puts the Global Issue onto my track, exactly where I didn't want it. I do my best to grab the theatre commands again, while steering everything else Stalinbot's way. The Americans get the A-Bomb, and I'm unable to avoid winning the Global Issue. The conference ends in a tie between me and Stalinbot. The AI doesn't have anything to say about resolving ties in this situation, but I decide to be generous and say Stalinbot broke the tie in his favour, making it one conference apiece.A[...]

Session: SeaFall:: Seafall x4 sessions, not 4X - Contains Mild Spoilers

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 20:37:13 +0000

by varianor Background note: This is a four player game. Two of the players have played Seafall before. The other two have not - myself and Dave. The two that have played before are in a game that has gone 9 sessions - so we have actually moved ahead of them in one day. Play: We completed four sessions of Seafall yesterday. Chapters 8, 9, 10 and 11. This is post Box 5 opening and before Box 6. At the end of approximately 11 hours of play - with a short break for dinner and snacks - our leader is currently 15 points ahead of the last player (me) with a score of 125. Three out of the four of us one a game apiece. One player won two games. I think this was actually a mistake as there was a milestone that one player almost recognized but we didn’t stop long enough to really consider it properly. So it may be that we all won a game apiece. What has happened as a result?The player in the lead (Prince) has switched titles once with the second in the lead, and then took it back. They are less than 5 points apart. The player who was Baron moved up to Count two games in and kept that position when we ended. He is two points ahead of me.[o]*There is only one Island left to find. A Dangerous Site with a 30 rating. The Island At the End of the World. Geez! It’s not going to happen without effort.*By comparison with the previous/other game we’ve done more exploring of Empty Waters and found three out of the four Portals of the Ancients. They have found no more portals than the original.*We flubbed the Map to the Island at the End of the World milestone. Someone found an Advisor with the symbol and Chart +5. We didn’t recognize it but the player asked about it. This could have changed an outcome. We’re going to figure out how to handle it. That was on game 9.*We have found two statues - the bronze and the gold. We’re wondering mightily about the silver one and the milestone for the secret of all three.*Ker was conquered. Not on the first attempt or the second. Two different players attempted it in game 10 and blew it. The conquest happened in Game 11. *Two players also attempted to conquer the Temple on Arados in Game 11. We found this to be a source of rules confusion. The FAQ here and other threads were very helpful figuring that out.*We’ve found four tombs, not including Arados, and closed 4. We seem to go in heavily armed for tombs and succeed. It helps that you can use Fortune. [/o]What have we found generally speaking:Horrible dice luck happens to everyone. We all had at least one “sure fire” set of rolls that went horribly sour. To the point where a normally calm and collected player - all of us - got more than a little grumpy. One wonders if some sort of mitigation mechanic for these circumstances would improve player happiness.We’re all definitely enjoying the game still and the reveals. The rules need more editing to succeed. The layout folks got them all onto one or two pages. However, there are small edits that could improve upon them. In addition, the “reveal” incorporated into them also introduces confusion in corner cases. We acknowledge that this is impossible to know in advance before releasing the game into the wild. Another game produced from the knowledge gained from Eclipse could be amazing.The story is an excellent part of the experience.Our map is unique - please see for yourself. It’s a little hard on the brain on the fourth game, but you can muddle through!Title Comment: A 4X game is defined to include 4 elements: eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate. Seafall does not have, in my opinion, any extermination. Therefore it i[...]

Session: Twilight Struggle:: First live Steam game

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 18:49:36 +0000

by SumatraTiger As a net newbie having only drill experience against the AI (as the American, since the Soviet side is useless in AI play), I played my first live online game today. I intentionally selected a weak opponent because I lacked confidence and wanted a learning-oriented introduction to live play rather than an expert rout that left me with more questions than answers.I played the American and had my hands full early. He opened with a COMECON trap and made a rush-push bid for European control. I misplayed my Turn 1 hand and was lucky to escape disaster, nearly having to Blockade myself into West German oblivion - just the kind of idiot mistake you make only once, ever. The highlight of Turn 1 was when I threw a 1 Ops card - Romanian Abdication I believe, when I meant to use UN Intervention and Blockade because my hand was atrocious - at a coup of Iraq to drop DEFCON and rolled a 6, deleting the Soviet from Iraq. While hardly decisive, the sudden disappearance of the Iraq foothold and unexpected denial of Iran access did appear to give the Soviet pause and did make my job easier in Middle East later. I laughed to imagine the real-world coup such a shambolic outcome would represent ("With a butter knife, fully two rolls of dental floss, bubble gum, and some duct tape, we fashioned a crude catapult... ...The bang caps provided a key diversion and the guards were occupied with a soccer ball we stole from some street boys and flung into the fortified compound over their protests. Please thank Langley for the $30 regime change budget, we celebrated with inexpensive kebab and iced tea, and $1.51 in change is enclosed including the cost of postage.") I was also fortunate to rid my hand of both Decol/DeStal in Turn 3, though generally my opponent consistently had superior cards even adjusted for early Soviet advantage.The Soviet led but was unable to achieve decisive scores in Early War. In Mid War, he was unable to convert Europe - he was able to flip Italy but the American hold on West Germany remained firm. In Middle East and Asia stalemate prevailed. Aided by lopsidedly favorable cards and a lightning coup of Panama, the Soviet made a big investment in both American regions, gaining Dominance in Central America and Control in South America. But the price was Africa, which I scored for 11 as he lacked Presence: when I played De Gaulle I made sure to take Algeria before triggering, tossed some castoff Influence to control South Africa, grabbed the three 1-stability BGs in between with CRGs, and held the scoring card, though my other cards were disasters including Lone Gunman and Portuguese Empire Crumbles. DEFCON was 2, so he couldn't coup, but I wondered why he didn't try to realign Nigeria? Had he pushed back I would have run into hand trouble, but he continued to focus on the Americas. Meanwhile, he was able to trash my AfP Event but lacked the South America scoring card, which meant he had made a strategic mistake: he had overcommitted to a region he couldn't reliably score, while in far fewer ARs I had maximized my score in a region I wasn't supposed to Dominate, much less Control. He also had to Bear Trap himself to prevent DEFCON suicide, and though it took me fully 7 Ops to rid Cuba of his presence (like a quasi-Quag), I was able to draw (roughly net out) Central America before scoring it. In AR7 of the penultimate turn, JP2 appeared in a puff of white smoke and Soviet control of Poland dissolved, defusing any threat Europe posed.He held Control in South America into the turn when the scoring card would have ha[...]

Session: Wild Blue Yonder:: Buzz Bomb Duty (First try at the solitaire campaign)

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 18:48:24 +0000

by vezina99 Hello all,Usually, when I get a new game in, I spend a fair amount of time digesting the rulebook, looking over the components, and attempting to find interested opponents. However, the fantastic artwork on the cover rulebooks, and action cards of Wild Blue Yonder, done by a very talented Antonis Karidis, made me want to jump into this one immediately. As soon as I understood the dogfight rules, I started up a solo campaign and thought that I would report the first mission here for those interested in the game.The solitaire campaign is titled “Buzz Bomb”, and it puts you in the seat of one of several mid to late-war RAF fighters. The goal is to stop a V-1 rocket before it hits it intended target: London. Some special rules apply to the campaign to manage the Axis aircraft’s deck, which generally forces some negative effect on your position or hand of cards. Every turn, four cards are drawn from the Axis deck to determine the events, and the Allied player cannot respond to these cards. Also, a status counter provides a timed end to the game; however, this status counter (noted as the VRTC in my log) moves down to an endpoint of zero on the draw of a couple of cards, which means that the game has a variable and unpredictable ending. I’ll try to note status changes as they happen, but most of the card effects are listed on the campaign card as seen in my screenshots.Anyway, here is the AAR of an RAF Flight Lieutenant Thomas Bentley on his first encounter with a buzz bomb. He is flying a Mosquito XIII, Hell’s Loose, in this scenario. I hope that you enjoy it! Another day of duty in the Fighter Defense ZoneTurn 1Right out of the gate, the Hell’s Loose has some engine trouble and loses ground on the rocket, and the V-1 starts making progress toward London. Flt. Lt. Bentley curses his luck and pushes the engines to their limits to regain lost speed - but at a cost. The starting hand for the good guyV-1: Full Throttle {Fighter Range +1}, Tight Turn, In My Sights (IMS) {VRTC -1}, and Maneuver. Fighter: 3 Blue cards discarded to Over-Boost {Fighter Range -1 + Fighter: 1 Hit}Turn 1 Status: VRTC Countdown – 11Fighter Position – Lead Pursuit, Box IFighter Hits: 1Turn 2It quickly becomes apparent that Hell’s Loose has lingering mechanical issues, as Bentley’s Mosquito continues to struggle to maintain speed amidst intermittent misfires. Realizing that time will run out sooner rather than later, the Flight Lieutenant pushes his bird to her limits to keep up with the threat.V-1: Full Throttle, IMS, IMS (1 Burst/1 Cockpit Hit) {Spoiled Attack – Discarded IMS 1 Burst/1 Hit}, Maneuver.Fighter: Full Throttle {Fighter Range -1}, Discard Chop Throttle.Turn 2 Status: VRTC Countdown – 10Fighter Position – Lead Pursuit, Box IFighter Hits: 1Turn 3Avoiding the turbulence from the V-1, Bentley boosts his crate again and ignores the high-pitched grinding coming from his right engine to claw himself into an actual firing solution on the bomb.V-1: Maneuver, Vertical Roll, IMS, Vertical Roll {Spoiled Attack – Discarded IMS due to no White cards}Fighter: 2x Maneuver and 1 Blue discarded to Over-Boost (Fighter: 2 Hits total)Turn 3 Status:VRTC Countdown – 9Fighter Position – Lead Pursuit, Box HFighter Hits: 2The "progress" after three rounds of combatTurn 4As the buzz bomb continues its flight nearer and nearer its target, the time to attack is now for the fighter pilot. Bentley deftly maneuvers in all three dimensions and hits the V-1 on a diving snap-shot; however, it is not enough to take it out o[...]

Session: Arkham Noir: Collector Case #1 – The Real Leeds:: Deaths in Leeds

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 18:46:14 +0000

by richdodgin I'm in Leeds. A godforsaken little town, down the road from where I grew up. Place has always given me the creeps, and I wouldn't be here if it weren't for the case I've taken. 'Find out who's broadcasting obscenities from a pirate radio station in the area'. Sure, buddy, whatever. I've bills to pay so it's not like I have a choice...Right from the off, I have a bad feeling. I check in to a grubby, run down B&B and, having handed over my deposit to the acne faced teenager who showed me to my room, head into town to make some initial enquiries.No one wants to talk to me, an out of towner, and I've just about given up when an old woman nods in answer to my question. 'Broadcasts? Oh, I've heard those, sonny. But if you want to know what's really going on in these parts, you want to look into what happened to young Tim McLellan and that other fella who came here asking questions like yourself...' at which points she cackles madly and turns and flees, leaving me standing there, feeling like someone's just walked over my grave.I find more info in the library, looking at recent copies of the local paper. Two unexplained and seemingly unconnected dearhs. Tim McLellan, an eight year old who was found strangled and with bite marks on his body, and Clement Lestrange, a private investigator from Chicago, found in his hotel room with his head caved in. No clues or witnesses to either violent death, and unwritten attitude from the police chief that '... these things happen...'I go for a coffee in a joint called the Haymarket Cafe. It's quiet - just me and old timer with his back to me, who doesn't even turn round as I walk in. I ask about the deaths as I take my first sip of bitter coffee. The woman serving me shakes her head, she doesn't bother much with the news. I sit and drink my coffee, wondering what the hell I'm doing here.I finish my drink, grimacing as I swallow the dregs, leave the tip on the table, and get up to go. At which point the old man turns round and waves me over to his table. 'Take this,' he says, handing me a brass key, 'it's the Key to the Real Leeds'. He turns away again, our conversation clearly over. I stick the key in my pocket and leave, shaking my head as I do so. Weird ass town.I pop into the drugstore and pick up a copy of the latest edition of the local newspaper, in the hope that this may offer me some more information. And my god, it does. 'Mutilated Victims!' screams the headline. I read the article with shaking hands, learning that a farmer on the edge of town found the mutilated bodies of several young kids in his field this morning. Just what the hell is going on?It gets worse. Reading more, I learn that the parents knew their children were out after dark, and were 'Unconcerned' when they didn't come home. Which to me, makes them complicit. My appetite gone, I head back to my room at the B&B, where I sleep fitfully - with nightmares of dead children and uncaring parents.At breakfast, I pick at the cooked breakfast of greasy undercooked sausages, burnt beans and chewy toast and try and get my thoughts in some sort of order.'Seen the news, Mister?' asks the acne faced lad as he pours me more coffee.'About the mutilated kids? Yes, I read about that yesterday,' I reply grimly.He shakes his head, 'No. They found more kids bodies. Big pile of them. In one of the store rooms at Langford Elementary School.' He says this so matter of factly that I'm momentarily lost for words. He leaves the dining room and I'm left with a creeping sense of unease.With [...]

Session: Dungeon Draft:: Trying to ignore attack cards doesn’t quite work out.

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 18:45:04 +0000

by Norbert Chan

When I showed up at Don’s place, they were a couple rounds away from finishing. Don said it would take me three minutes to read the rules. I didn’t realize they were playing a 5th round. When they were done, I mentioned the game was only 4 rounds long. They looked at me surprised, and then they went to get $5 starting gold. I said you started with 9 gold. So with those 2 corrections, we were able to play a proper game. Seating order aroudn the table was Ken, Don, Jean, Trevor and myself.

Ken was able to play 5 cards in the first round. He got down 4 different classes for 2 gold each, then his last card was a 5 gold rogue which could be played for free, if he had the 4 other classes. This gave Ken a really good start, with income, and attack values. On the other hand, my three quest cards were 4 rogues to copy another quest card, 4 rogues to flip a card and if you call the hero class correctly you can play the card for free and 3 rogues/3 druids to allow you to reduce your cost of a hero by 4 gold. So I started off by playing 3 rogues to get my quest cards down.

On round 2, I got two of my quest cards down, but no one else had any, so I couldn’t copy too much. I realized belatedly that instead of playing cards with income, cards with attack values could take out monsters and earn you money and income. I only had 1 attack strength, with druids and rogues. Ken especially was earning many VPs and gold via monsters, an option I did not have. Trevor was doing well with monsters as he sat to my right and I was passing away monsters .Ken was to my left and also benefitting from my lack of ability to finish off monsters.

I thought I did well in the 4th round. Ken passed me a druid that gives XP for cards of 3 gold or less; that was worth 17 XP to me. I was able to play down 5 mage cards, since I played a 9 cost mage that played all other mages for free, and drawing cards (copying Jean’s quest to draw 3 and keep one), and another mage let me draw 2 cards, I got something like 40 XP. But Ken got something like 70 XP, including dusting off a 10 XP monster. So it wasn’t even close.

Ken 170,
Trevor 124,
Norbert 116,
Jean 109,
Don 96.

It was fun to play. Don said he didn’t get any replies to the forums on some questions he had. I joked that given they were playing a couple of rules wrong, they might respond by saying “read the rules”. As for my next game, I hope to be able to get some cards with attack values, to give me more flexibility in taking monsters during the draft, rather than having to pass them on.

Session: Twilight Imperium: Fourth Edition:: 5 players - 6 hours

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 18:43:18 +0000

by stuuk

We played TI4 today as our first 5 player run of the game, having played twice with 3.
This was good because the 3 who had played before could encourage and teach. We also started off the two newbies with the 'easy' races of their choice and picked randomly for our own, further pushing those who had played before into unfamiliar territory.

We had:
Space Lions, Lizix, Triffids, Insects, Snakes.
the insects were the +4 trade disadvantaged race, with lizix and snakes bagging +2 each.

The game was characterised by a lot of staring of big fleets but little combat. The triffids took Rex and immediately bloomed up to 8 infantry on the capital, this put off thoughts of re-taking it.

The wormholes saw much of the same with a late game space lion invasion of the Lizix which the triffids also joined in with.

Ultimately, the Triffids carried the day with 10 VPs after about 6 hours of play. This was due to 2 VPs from Rex and Imperium and being able to double-score on account of the same.
We played 7 turns in total.

This was a bit of a learning game so the insects were not picked on, nor did they use their warfare advantage. The Lizix started out bullying which ultimately won them a few systems but turned the board against them. The Lions traded and had a huge treasury, allowing forays far from home. The snakes did a lot of watching and politicking.

I expect on the next game to see a lot more early fighting as people will more easily understand the forces. There will also be a lot more watching of the VP board and probably greater care in trading.

One very positive thing is that this is not much slower with 5 than with 3, because you actually play one LESS strategy card.
And the most important test? Everyone agreed the game's a winner - we are playing again next week.

Session: Gloomhaven:: The Doom Patrol - Part II (Spoilers)

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 18:42:49 +0000

by Rob Watkins Prosperity 1.2, Reputation -3 tick (+1 cost on all purchases). Level 1 cragheart, level 1 mind thief, level 1 scoundrel.Mind thief unavailable for this session. Cragheart and Scoundrel attempted to make progress in her absence. Decided to see if we could go loot a treasure chest in S71. Ran into R10B along the way. This resulted in us starting with 1 damage each (not that big a deal when everything hits like a Mack truck) and added C71 to the city deck, causing it to be reshuffled. Cragheart commented that it seemed appropriate to add C71 to the city deck given we were on our way to S71. Cute.Arrived S71. Hey look! We don't need to kill everything to win this scenario. Visions of difficulty 7 completion XP danced in our heads. We simply wouldn't wake up the drakes, grab the chests, and run. Now to see if our plan would survive contact with the enemy. We made a plan to engage the closest wind demon while avoiding the drakes and additionally avoiding the drakes during the end of round forced movement. The wind demon had other ideas, activating on initiative 02 and thwarting our plans by moving up near a drake to shoot us. Effectively lost a turn. Cragheart made his way toward the closest chest while the scoundrel trapsed off invisibly toward the further two. Round three, cragheart opened up a chest, scoundrel destroyed a wind demon by smacking it with the combined force of Smoke Bomb and Trickster's Reversal. Two lost cards is a high price to pay, but we obliterated one of the opponents. Eagle-eye goggles paid off, the first card flipped was the null. The -1 damage flip was enough to one shot the wind demon. Things went south after that. Cragheart succumbed to the attacks of the remaining denizens.Back to Gloomhaven for a bit of rest and relaxation. Disaster! We drew C20 and decided to go with B since we are trying to lower our reputation. We figured and interesting campaign would be a tale of redemption where our mercenaries work their way down to -20 reputation and then attempt to climb their way back up to +20 reputation. So we are looking to avoid reputation gains and go for reputation losses (this might explain some of the choices we made last session). So the heck with option A, we might accidentally get a reputation out of it. Ugh, ugh, ugh. B gave us -1 prosperity, not -1 reputation. Ouch. Prosperity increases are a way to get better equipment so we can defeat a scenario. What a giant step backwards. Boo. Cragheart decided he needed more movement for S71 and purchased Boots of Striding. R27A on the way back to S71. What the heck? We were having a rough enough time as it was. Now we get to start with 3 cards in the discard pile? *groan*We decided to try to deal with the initial four enemies prior to looting a goal chest this time. Wind demon pulled another 02 to lead off the scenario, thwarting the craghearts turn and decreasing the scoundrel's opening attack by 2 due to lack of adjacent ally. Ugh, sometimes the system is not your friend. We defeated two of the enemies, and then fell to their powerful attacks. Okay, the heck with S71. It doesn't even have a treasure chest with non-goal stuff in it, so we threw in the towel. Perhaps we'll return with mind thief. We found ourselves missing her stuns...Back in Gloomhaven. C04A. Whew, we didn't lose prosperity. Scoundrel made a virtual apology to the absent mind thief and purchased the sole remaining pair of boots of striding. Typical[...]

Session: Morels: Foray:: Homebrewing Foray Playtest

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 18:35:49 +0000

by NoDicePlease Preface:First off, Morels with Foray makes for a much more interesting play experience than just the base game. It messes with the calculations, opens up opportunities and overall provides a bit more of an "off the rails" experience.Brent, offered a challenge to the community to develop a little bit of Home-Brew and so I took upon the challenge. Why not? So I posted about 70 ideas for some cards to include. I then went about the time to construct all of the cards and then to put them through their paces to see what develops. It has been great fun. The last 2 games have ended in 48-48 ties. Having 2 ties in a row is amazing but then having them on the same score? Crazy.Anyway, this is how it played out. You will need to refer to the list here to improve your understanding about what we are doing.Setup:For setup I include 2 random global events, 2 random obstacles, 6 actions/people and 4 books/guides. Additionally, each player was dealt 2 identity cards where they keep one and pass the other, review the 2 in hand and then discard the one that they don't want. Who do I want to be?Tough choices, my opponent had the Environmentalist (kind of an anti-basket ability) and the Manipulator (bigger starting hand but then can discard cards with a full hand). I was passed the Environmentalist. I on the other hand had the Flexible Planner (can discard a single card for sticks to forage but is limited) and the Opportunist (pan manipulation). I went with the Flexible Planner. we both reviewed the cards passed and ultimately decided to keep the first cards. The Environmentalist has some good potential and was a tough pass for the both of us.We choose what we were going to start with between a basket, pouch (stores one card and does not count against your hand limit) or the backpack (store up to 4 cook value in mushrooms) We chose to start with the more flexible but limited Pouch to start.After my opponent chose his 4 starting cards I dealt the forest out and then shuffled in all of the new additions. I should say that we were playing with Eureka and the Eccentric. We always do. I did not include any other Foray cards in the deck to ensure that the new cards get a good run through.2 Morels in the starting forest?I lose the toss and my opponent starts. Well what do you know, 2 morels in the opening forest and I can't get either of them due to their spacing. Hoping that I can block the 3rd one I let them go and spot a pan denial opportunity. I scooped up 3 pans instead and has a basket in my opening hand.Going Pan DenialWhen I picked up the 3rd pan, the Master Chef shows up (lets you put down all pans in hand with a single action). I have to bide my time and then, wham, 3 pans in play. Great early setup although the mushrooms in my hand are on the low end (tree ears and honey fungus). I used my ability once to get one of those pans to help with the denial game.My opponent had to sluff off a couple of cards to get to a pan before he was completely shut down. At this time the last Morel shows up and he had 5 sticks to my none. I had my ability but even discarding a mushroom for the sticks was not going to get me to it. He takes the 3rd Morel. Time to focus. I make a cook of my own to open up my hand and then ...The Thunderstorm Hits!The Thunderstorm hits right on cue. This prevents a player from cooking unless 2 sticks are discarded. He had 3 sticks but did not want to spend them.[...]

Session: Empires:: No revolt cards were given out in our first two games

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 18:35:25 +0000

by Norbert Chan

Don taught the rules to Jean, Trevor and I. Ken and Don had played in Red Deer the weekend before. We all bid for nations, and there were no conflicts. Ken was the Ottomans, Don was Prussia, Jean was Russia, Trevor was Denmark and I was Portugal.

Ken had watched the Ottomans win handily last weekend. They start with 6 territories, so once you get enough people, then you can go into autopilot. As Portugal, I had excess territory, so I traded it to Don for a person. I thought I would get into the spirit of the game by wheeling and whenever I could.

The first war, both Trevor and Don bid 8. I bid 1 to trigger Portugal’s special power of getting a territory if you bid the lowest. Prussia looks difficult to play, starting with 0 territories and 2 people. I think Don wanted to win the war with 3 territories, so he gave me an incentive as I was the diplomat. Bit Don’s game never really took off.

Trevor didn’t win a war with territory, and his special power was to get 2 support cards if someone else allows it, so I gave him 3 gold to get one of the support cards. In fact Trevor would get support cards this way four times.

Ken had the game won as he had 6 territories and enough workers to fill them and 5 goods, but he blundered when bidding in the market phase, when he thought it was the war phase. He bid three, giving up three goods for money, which I think cost him the game.

Trevor 19,
Ken 18,
Norbert 16,
Jean 15,
Don 11.

Game 2: I thought I would try something off the board, and try France: even though it has 3 bonds, it gets 6 people and 4 territories to start. Trouble is, Don was thinking the same way. Ken got Britain, Jean got Austria, and Trevor got the Netherlands. Don and I had to bid again, so I bid for Spain, and Don bid for Portugal.

The trouble with Spain is that with 3 bond cards you are almost always forced to give up a good to get income during the market phase. A more astute player might be able to live on the edge to manage it, and support points are really tight in this game. But I had to give up a good each of the 5 phases to have income. If I didn’t, I would have worst choices in the wars.

Ken and Jean got off to good starts. I was able to get people early in the wars to be competitive, but I did have to give up a good each phase, while not everyone was under the same constraints.

At the end, Jean ran out of money, and had to take either 3 people and a revolt or 4 people. But Don saved him the trouble by giving him a coin to take some people off him, so Jean didn’t revolt. Good thing as the score was:

Ken 19,
Jean 19,
Norbert 17,
Trevor 14,
Don 13.

Tiebreaker is the person with the most goods - I think that was Ken, so Ken gets the victory to rebound from the game he should won.

Session: Comanchería: The Rise and Fall of the Comanche Empire:: Onto the Plains - [Session 2.3.1 Really the End]

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 18:35:13 +0000

by Snowdog_2112 Here is the final log of the game. Spoiler, I finally win, but it took some time.My photos got jacked up so I don't have any.I have decided that VIDEO is the way to go - this is tedious!! Anyway, I hope you enjoy the finale.3.1.No War Columns3.2Ops track ok3.3Activate RanchA. Hunt to RR5, take bisonReturn 1 x (2-5) unused to resource box as (2-F) and take 1 APMove OPS counter down one space3.4Ops Clean UpPassed roll check vs. Finished bands, 6Draw 2 EAPsRoll NorthFlip HUNT3 to ENCR4*Execute top Action HUNT2Take Bison from UA5 (random)3.1 No War Columns3.2 Ops Tracker OK3.3Take Action, Planning4.3PlanningStep 1,2,3 …. No success tokens on the Mahi’ tracksStep 4 ….Spend ParaiboA medicine and earn 1 APStep 5 …,Roll for Mahi’B 6/2=3 MedicineStep 6 ….Make all unfinished bands reduce 1Ranch A gets 2x(2-F) to 2x(1-6)Ranch B band is UnfinishedBand in PD canyon is UnfinishedStep 7 ….So doing some research, I learned that I should have “absorbed” the 2-5 band in the PD space a LONG time ago during one of the many “enforce stacking rules” phases in Operations CleanUp. No harm no foul I guess, but I certainly may have been able to use this Rancheria more effectively prior.All good though, as I now move Rancheria B to LE2 and prepare to Raid or Trade with WEST and the other 1st Nations tribes in the vicinity.Step 8 ….Free InstructionDraw 4 EAPsRoll WestRoll to flip SETTLE4 to WAR4*Execute Top action we go...UA is now gone… Place a WEST settlement in UA3, losing control of Upper Ark.Step 9 …. Move OPS counter down one spaceOperations CleanUp3.4Unstacking doneDraw Sucess and return to CUPEnemy has but 1 EAP, so no further actions in Cleanup3.1 No war columns3.2Ops ok.3.3Activate A, I need to get some Ravaged counters out!!Take 1 x (1-6) band, Mahi’ and the Horse and go Raiding on UA3Roll check for an extra token fails...I pull one and its a SUCCESS, place ravaged token and take a horseI hit it again, fail the Mahi’ extra draw check, but still pull a success. Take a captives and place a Ravaged counter.Move the 2nd band to UA1 and Mark Finished (this should lock in my victory condition).Move ops counter down one spot to “3”3.4. CleanUpI draw the NORTH war instruction, WAR6 and for the War Column (6-1) on their home space.Enemy has 1 EAP so we move on.**** PLAN *****Get into PoT and win this thing!!3.1. War ColumnNorth 1 Moves to UA6Roll 4 and lose a strength to (5-1)DRAW W20, Surrender Captives3.2 I'm in a numbered space, so I can choose PoT. And I do.4.3 Passage of TimeStep 1 ….All in play bands now marked as UnfinishedStep 2 ….Make a new 1 x (1-5) band in each Rancheria. (Costs 1bison from each Ranch)Step 3 ….Ranch A spends 2 pop points (2 bison) to make all 2 x(1-6)’s into 2x (2-5)’s…..Ranch B spends 2 pop points (1 captive) to make the 1-6 a (3x4)Step 4 …One lone bands on UA1, place Rancheria CSet Pc: to one(1) and Mc: to 0.Step 5 ….Retire both Mahi’s at 3 each and defer to their Paraibo.Step 6 ….Both A/B had retirees and C=1, so no death checksStep 7 ….New Mahi’ medicine. Ma: Rolls 6/2=3, Mb: Rolls 6/2=3. I know, I know I rolled a six (6) EVERY time I did this check in the game!I also Rolled a FAIL every time I did a RECOVERY action during Clean Up….crazy game.Step 8 ….Return two (2) success tokens to the CUPStep 9 ….N[...]

Session: John Prados' Third Reich:: Molotov-Ribbentrop Expires.

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 18:33:55 +0000

by polate France holds out till Stalin joins in.Fall 1939. Molotov Ribbentrop pact. Kriegsmarine surface ships scrapped. Warsaw holds against 6 panzers and 5 TAC, causing the first para death. Yugoslavia taken by Italy and the Netherlands by Germany. All 3 allies spent heavily on diplomacy and the iron ore route was raided throughout the game. Britain landed near Wilhelmshaven bombed u-boats there and moved the BEF to the Belgian border. France probed the upper Rhine.Winter 1939 Strikes in Paris. Severe winter in Russia. Poland fell. Britain expanded her German bridgehead repelling half-hearted counterattacks. Italy advanced to the Bulgarian border.Spring 1940 mud in Russia, AFV license. Italy defeated Bulgaria, shifted to the Greek frontier and brought her armour up to full strength. 2 panzers and 5 TAC head west leaving 4 panzers on the eastern front. Luftwaffe and RAF vie for control of the North Sea ending in an expensive draw, the Germans decided not to risk an invasion but wiped out the British beachhead.Summer 1940 Sud Tirol. The RAF was rebuilt but the Luftwaffe wasn’t. British GHQ and RN offensives were wasted because they came before the axis declared on Belgium and Greece respectively. Athens holds for a turn against Italy thanks to the garrison in the Pindus mountains which narrowed the front. Britain also declared on Greece to impress the Turks. Italy joined the axis and launched carriers. Army group centre invaded Belgium and Luxembourg clearing Brussels, the Ardennes and Sedan. France counterattacked retaking Sedan and Luxembourg, destroying 1 panzer and reinforced Antwerp. Army group west advanced through AG centre eventually reconquering Luxembourg at the cost of 2 infantry over-stacked and a 2nd death of the paras. Russia is poised in the east.* 4 god pulls for the axis.Fall 1940 Vienna award, Molotov-Ribbentrop pact expires. Luftwaffe and panzers rebuilt. The allies raided the central med, western med and Adriatic. Russia, Turkey and Romania join the allies and Hungary joins the axis. Italy railed up a thin line in Yugoslavia and finished off Greece but was cut off by the Turks and Romanians. Britain landed in Tripoli isolating the airbase in Cyrenica. Russia swept through Slovakia and Hungary enveloping the Germans southern flank in Poland and landed near Berlin. British, German and French offensives pushed back and forth through Brussels and Luxembourg destroying 4 panzers and a British armour. Although Germany gained Antwerp the western front is really an eye-wateringly expensive stalemate that the allies can better afford.New RulesDeclarations of war any time in a turn after political chit. This allows surprise attacks with no chance for the allies to SR troops in and cash out. Definitely favours the axis.SRs before or after operations. Supply can only be traced 3 hexes through enemy controlled territory. We’ve had silly situations like Germans in Stalingrad tracing 20 hexes behind soviet lines to Finland.Air quality good for UK and Germany.*The axis admitted defeat at this point but the allies wanted the fun of attacking so he played on solo, as it turned out the axis prediction came true.Thanks to Jon for a good game. [...]

Session: Advanced Squad Leader: Starter Kit #3:: S26: Last Ally, Last Victory

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 18:31:01 +0000

by kilgore234 When setting up for this Scenario, you can’t help but feel like you’re about to take your Final Exam of ASL Starter Kit. A full 3 mapboards are employed, there is a complete OOB on both sides, with squads, SW, Guns and a variety of AFVs. There are many more SK Scenarios yet to play, but I believe few, if any, are larger in scope and are a better indication of one’s willingness (and ability) to consider “stepping up” to the encompassing world of ASL.[imageid=3876506 large In October, as Hungary's government was finalizing secret arrangements to surrender to the approaching Red Army, Germany engineered a coup, putting the Crossed Arrows Party, the nearest Hungarian equivalent to the Nazi Party, into power. Meanwhile, the Red Army was approaching Hungary from the east. Stalin may have agreed to a pause in offensive operations into Poland and Prussia, but he urged the powerful Ukrainian Fronts forward towards Budapest. [imageid=3876507 largeLocation:Püspökladány, HungaryDate:October 10, 1944[imageid=3876508 largeVillage CenterAs indicated in the ASL Scenario Archive, S26 is the largest scenario in the game, and the only one to use all three mapboards at once. A large German force counterattacks an equally large Russian force. The Russians have 16 squads and 9 tanks; the Germans have 15 squads and 8 tanks, including two of the super-heavy King Tigers.Participants:Russian: 33rd Rifle Corps6th Guards Tank Army71st Heavy Tank Regiment (part of 6th G above)German: 1st Panzer DivisionSchwerePanzer Abteilung 50323rd Panzer DivisionROAR:At time of writing, Russians win 63% of timeSpecial Rules: • German player gets to determine where/when his two Army groups get to enter the board.• Russian 6-2-8 Elite units are not subject to ELR.Victory Conditions:Germans must control at least 9 multi-hex buildings by game end (6 ½ turns). There are 12 such multi-hex buildings across all 3 boards.Introduced This Scenario:A)Russian T-34/M85 TankSuccessor to the previous T-34 M43. The earlier model T-34s (model 1941 and model 1943) were introduced in Scenario S21. “The Soviet response to the Panther.”[imageid=3876509 large[imageid=3876510 large• Fast Traverse Turret• ROF: 1• 85mm MA, “L” gun velocity• 16 Movement Points (MP)• Fully tracked AFV• Ground Pressure: Normal• Front Armor Factors: 11 Hull, 11 Turret• Side/Rear Armor Factors: 6 Hull, 8 Turret• Target Size: Normal• BMG: 2FP; CMG 4FP; AAMG NA• APCR Depletion Number this Scenario: 5• sD Smoke dispenser depletion number 6, but can only be used once in this Scenario.• “CS 6” – not used in ASLSKB)Iosef Stalin IS-2 Heavy Tank[imageid=3876511 large [imageid=3876512 large • Slow Traverse Turret• ROF: 0 and no INTENSIVE FIRE permitted.• 122mm MA, “L” gun velocity• 13 Movement Points (MP)• Fully tracked AFV• Ground Pressure: Normal• Front Armor Factors: 14 Hull, 18 Turret• Side/Rear Armor Factors: 11 Hull, 11 Turret• Target Size: Normal• BMG: 1FP; CMG 4FP; Rear Mounted MG 2FP• “CS 6” – not used in ASLSKPer Jay Richardson, “AFVs with a circled B# suffer MA malfunction normally, on an original TH DR of 12, but if the original TH DR is equal to or greater than the circled B# (and is not a 12) the AFV is then marked with a Low Ammo counter. [...]

Session: Star Trek: Ascendancy:: Dancing on a Bathlet's Edge

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 18:29:33 +0000

by MordredPendragon TL;DR:The enlightened Cardassians struggle against bullying Ferengi while the Klingons and Romulans have a profitable cold war until the Klingons raid Romulus for its ascended cultural treasures and heroically retake Kronos from the Ferengi in a nailbiting finale.Young Warrior, history is written by the victors. So listen to the account of your glorious ancestors!It was a time for discovery, for war and for forging empires when we Klingons started our conquest of the stars. The first thing our people discovered was the Vlugta Asteroid Field, where they captured a bunch of Bynar technicians and put them to good use in our weapons research facilities. The fools were only studying the asteroids, but we quickly began to mine them. Next we found the Ardanans, an industrious but obnoxious people. Some fool in the High Council offered them an alliance which they promptly refused. So after executing the fool in question we subjugated them with our improved weapons! Their two productions sites were ours!Pilfering through the Ardanan archives we learned of three species with pretentions to dominion over the galaxy. There were the Ferengi, short but good with numbers (bah!), and the Romulans, arrogant but deft with technology. These were the closest to Kronos. Farther away lived the Cardas(s/h)ians, a spoon-faced people of artists, poets and playwrights or whatever the Ardanans understood as "cultured". They all would have to bow down to the beating of the Klingon hearts in the end!Not long after that our forebears found more promising new worlds and several phenomena to be used for more weapons research. In orbit of Janus VI we came across a Cardassian Delegation, but as we had not established any trade with them we contented ourselves with chasing it off. Janus itself aptly rounded out our massive production output from Vlugta and Ardana with some research opportunities that were sorely lacking so far. Another addition to our holdings was the planetoid Argo. The plant life induced weird hallucinations in our warriors so we built a colony with special air filter and harvested the plants for their use in bloodlust-inducing drugs – another cultural cornerstone that is still very popular today.The first real contact with our rivals was in the Coridan system where a long forgotten Klingon house had settled, unbeknownst to the High Council. They realized they were very close to the Romulans' homeworld when the greenbloods showed up above the colony one day. Through that old house official contact was established.Now, our ancestors were not only strong, but also cunning. They knew that they could not fight all the other species at once and the Romulans seemed content with discovery and research. So a trade deal was made at maximum capacity and the Romulans were allowed to bring Coridan under their rule. As long as we could stay ahead in overall production, exchanging resources with them would benefit us more than them. Planning to build mighty fleets to crush our foes with, our predecessors also transmitted their willingness to trade in the direction of the Ferengi. However, it would appear that the Ardanan records had lied when they suggested the Ferengi were very eager to trade for they did not advance in our direction as some had ho[...]

Session: Starship Troopers:: This game is still a blast

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 18:27:30 +0000

by oceanweather

Six showed for play of Starship Troopers (AH). This game is still a blast to play despite its age. We got through the first two scenarios, some playing scenario 1 twice, for 8 games total. The rules are clear and simple allowing a player to concentrate on maneuver and combat.

The playing forces, in keeping with the book of the same name, have asymmetric strengths. The Terrans (humans) have mobility and defense with the powered armor suits, the bugs have stealth and close combat strength when emerging from the underground tunnels while a third race, the Skinnies, have strong points and home field set up advantage. The trick is to force your opponent to react to your strengths while avoiding his. It is a clever adaptation of the book to wargame format.

We played 8 games today. Five of scenario 1 (Terrans vs Skinnies) with two matches being learning actions, and the remainder a 2-1 Skinny win vs Terrans. While the single squad of Mobile Infantry dominates the battlefield time is short, only 12 turns, and the Skinnies are more than willing to delay and sacrifice at every opportunity. I rate this one hard on the Terrans even though we played a scenario rule mod that did not allow the key victory point communication, power and water installations to stack.

In scenario 2 a full Mobile Infantry platoon must establish a large perimeter and defend it from Bug incursions emerging from surprise underground breaches.The Terran player needs to develop fire brigade response tactics to counter the Bug sorties while in turn the Bugs need to learn how and when to emerge from breaches, with what forces (warriors, workers of the uber valuable beam units) and in what order. Time, terrain and distance calculations are key for both sides. We recorded a 2-1 Terran win vs Bugs.

I had hoped to get to scenario 3 which includes forces from all three races - Terran, Skinny and Bug but we ran out of time. It was a lot of fun today and I am glad that so many showed to play this neglected classic.

Session: Canadian Crucible: Brigade Fortress at Norrey:: An illustrated playthrough of scenario 5.1 Fortress Norrey

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 18:21:20 +0000

by HolyMotherGoose In order to get back into the Tactical Combat Series I decided to start with what seemed like the first and smallest scenario at least in terms of the number of units involved. I played it solo.Scenario 5.1 Fortress Norrey is as simple as they come. The Canadians are dug in with a reinforced company from the Regina Rifles regiment, and the German want to take the town back. At their disposal they have a more or less an infantry battalion. Time is short, from 03:00 to 08:00, only 14 turns. The German artillery is very unreliable, only a 50% chance each turn that they can use it. In this playthrough they had some serious bad luck with their rolls and got to use it maybe 5 turns in total.The Canadian artillery is the real defending force. As long as they have units being able to see the enemy approach they will easily stop it with their arty, but their available ammunition is not as plentiful as it may seem.OpSheetsCanadians start with a Prep Defence opsheet. The problem is that some of their forces are stuck on the northern side of the railroad. I made an alternate objective to reinforce Norrey (objective HAVEN) for those units, but I never managed to activate them during the game (roll of 5+). Still they were of some use later in the scenario when they were used as artillery observers.I also put one platoon and a mg in the orchards SW of Norrey (objective LOOKOUT). This position had very good LOS over the southern approach and they managed to keep all German from entry area 3 out of Norrey during the whole battle.The German battalion started with an Attack opsheet with only one objective – Norrey. The plan was to attack in a pincer movement with 1st company from NE through the small forest and 2nd company from SW through the orchards. The heavy weapon company supported the attack from the ridge north of Saint-Manviue (KANSAS), and 3rd company I held in reserve. This was a bit of a gamble as it was a short scenario and I would only be able to activate them on 5+ roll.Battle reportThe first 2 hours of the scenario was quiet. The German approached silently toward their objectives careful not to make contact with the Canadians too early. The main German attack force, 1st Company, advances through the positions of the heavy weapon company during the dark hours and silently descends into the valley along their attack axis.2nd company approaches the orchards in the darkness. As daylight arrives they begin laying mortar smoke on the Canadian outpost. This however will be futile as this is more or less as close as they will get to Norrey.This is pretty much how the southern approach will look for the rest of the morning. Panzergrenadiers hugging the ground in the open being constantly bombarded by artillery.1st Company takes the long way round the east of Norrey using the hill crest to hide them from observers. Wary of the German threat continuous artillery fire is placed along their approach to dissuade them from advancing too quickly.The situation around 0500. Notice that the German heavy weapon company so the southeast starting to fire infantry guns into Norrey. This have very little effect against the dug in Canadians.A sudden bad artillery shoot in northeast give the Germ[...]

Session: Mistfall: Heart of the Mists:: The Rogue's Gallery steal Christmas and stealth-run the Black Gate (4 hero solo)

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 12:59:21 +0000

by Weltenreiter After various recent discussions on support characters and stuff, I felt like a run with a lot of them at once, so here we're trying one with a mostly rogue-themed cast.Our goal is the Black Gate since we have no report on that up yet and it's a cool scenario both map and boss-wise.Bonus challenge: Since we're rogues and not a bunch of brutish thugs, we want to sneak through the gate and not crash it, so no progress will be placed on the final encounter via it's normal damage option, we need rogueish shenanigans and mischief for all 10 progress.Rules blah blah:Usualish setup of normal mode, combined turns, tuned Reward deck (down to ~30 cards)Mistfall Kickstarter stuff, Sand&Snow, Advent '17 PromoStill no sign of HoM Kickstarter stuff for us plebs -_-Heroes:Asekebards count as rogueish in most Fantasy paradigmsElathacombat monster but trappers/ranger are rogueish. Someone has to do the killing?Crowstill the classic rogue and misc support guyArdenainother combat monster, but archers are rogueish enough too. Trap improvement muleMelekai would've been an alternative for Ardenai (Shadow Priest probably sufficiently rogueish), was a tossup between Lightning traps or Marking help.More interested to try the former right now, and I think with this cast, Melekai would sort of not get the attention he needs. Again.Allies:Tarahher Reflex forces a hit from the boss in her face to easily ensure the flip, generally good ally (Aseke)Flavicharges Elathas Quiver (2 tokens via Persistence, remember ally actions are "your" actions), helps crow stealth the gate (Elatha)Ethariellol 4 damage with Ardenai (due to "your" actions). Also generally useful utility power, especially with traps around (Ardenai)Bronnoh, lack of aftermath draw-up nerfs utility belt to once per 2 rounds. Lets pick a card drawer to get used toavoid that (Crow)Sanrethscouting/maneuverability may help with the kinda messy quest token situation (Aseke)Taking a full complement of allies for a change, since there's no ...complications... like Sigraed around.Tarah and Bronn are non-rogue-themed but whatever. Someone has to be loud as a distraction? Tarah has a specific purpose and maybe I get to test Bronn's flip power with Crow.Card drawer on Elatha would be nice to ensure reliable trap redeployment, but I want Flavi somewhere anyway and if Aseke covers draw, tokens seem stronger here.Have plenty of plans/uses for the Aseke flipbacks, so skipping Arivel. For ranged regular attack, Ethariel is even better with Ardenai anyway.Build plan:Crowneed Shadowy Ways and Canny Diversion by the time we hit the gate, anything else (loot stuff, SBM, misc instants) is bonus(remember the "slot check" is not constant but instantanoeus right after playing a slot card and none of his F3 cards rotate on top of the deck, so Bronn can allow him to cheat a 4th in play permanently)Asekeneeds Fellowship (action granting) for the Gate, Perseverance (songs under deck) whenever; Fortune of the Bards (encounter deck checking) is probably too expensive/clunky in this setupElathaprobably wants quadruple trapping early to show offactually kill stuff for us, maybe a Two Bladed Strike tooArdenaineeds to make do with Lighting Arrows, [...]

Session: Kingdom of Heaven: The Crusader States 1097-1291:: The Unlikely Ascendancy of Kerbogha: A First Crusade Solitaire AAR

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 12:58:22 +0000

by teycol It's debatable whether CDG's make good solitaire games. Some are wholly unsuited for it, and those in which the unpredictable and unseeable plans of the opponent are essential are just a plain bore for solitaire. A few, however, rise above and are capable of creating extremely satisfying solo experiences. I've found Kingdom of Heaven to be one such game. Sometimes it's not balanced, sometimes it's not fair, but every time it delivers such an interesting narrative uncannily similar to the actual messy campaigns of the period. For this, I chose the First Crusade, which is a fairly straightforward scenario in many respects, and I hope to show potential new players some of the fun aspects of the game.For the uninitiated: Kingdom of Heaven: The Crusader States 1097-1291 is a card-driven game (CDG) with point-to-point movement modeling the Crusades period through a series of scenarios. One player is the pro-Christian faction and the other is the pro-Muslim faction. Taking a realpolitik view of the situation, this doesn't mean that all Christian factions will always be on the Christian side nor that all Muslim factions will also be on the Muslim side. The game has a fun diplomacy system that models the fickleness of loyalties. For instance Byzantium is as often a foe to the crusaders as they are an ally. Cards have an operations value used to move commanders and troops, they have an event that can be played instead of the operation points, and they also each have a siege event that benefits either the attacker or the defender in a siege. Oh yes, sieges. They're a big deal. Storming the castle Inigo Monotoya style is not something you generally do in this game. Rather, there's a whole sub-game of trying to gain the advantage in a siege, starving out defenders, sallying against attackers and generally trying to either wear down your opponent before any direct wall-scaling heroics can be considered. It's awesome.Today's main course is scenario A: The First Crusade.1097 AD...Game setup was fairly simple. The Seljuks control most of the Levant, save a few Byzantine strongholds and a patch of Armenia. The Fatimids rule in Egypt and start out inactive. And then we got the crusader, gathered in an enormous doomstack in Constantinople and poised to cross Asia Minor.[ImageID=][ImageID=]So what's it all about? Victory conditions for the first crusade are fairly intuitive. The crusaders want the important stuff (Acre, Antioch, Jerusalem, etc.), and the Muslims want to keep them from getting it. Easy peasy, conquest-squeezy. To simulate the political instability of the Seljuks, the Seljuk units in the southern Levant are inactive until the region is attacked by hostile forces. This means that the Muslims have relatively few resources in the first turn, but already in turn 2, they receive massive reinforcements. The Christian death stack is powerful, but will wear down over time.TURN 1The Crusaders play the first card and makes for the Holy Land, under the tenuous leadership of Toulouse. A Seljuk emir stands in the way of the [...]

Session: The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game:: Journey Down the Anduin - Solo Lore (Core deck)

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 12:57:36 +0000

by Makofan I decided to try to beat Journey Down the Anduin with the core mono Lore deck. As the starting threat is 30, it means I get the Hill troll right away. The plan is to get Protector of Lorien on Denethor to handle the troll's attack, then play Forest Snare. I have Beravor for card draw to help me get them.Unfortunately I drew Forest Snare without "Protector", but I also had two Gandalfs. I decided to sacrifice an ally and boost my threat sky high, with the hope that Gandalf would help bring it down later. However, the gods smiled on me and I drew Protector of Lorien on Turn 1. I won by the very skin of my teeth with threat 49 and 2 heroes leftSETUPHeroes: Glorfindel, Beravor, DenethorStarting Threat: 30Starting Hand: 2x Gandalf, Lore of Imladris, Forest Snare, 2x Daughter of the NimrodelStep 1AReveal Encounter Card: Evil Storm (no effect)Step 1BPut Hill Troll (Ecounter 30 Threat 1) in STaging AReaROUND 1GAIN 3 Resource Points (new total 3)DRAW Protector of Lorien!!PLAY Protector of Lorien on Denethor for 1 (new total 2)QUEST Glorfindel and Beravor (5 WP)REVEAL Eastern Crows (30/1) SURGE Despair (no effect)RESOLVE 5 WP vs 2 TH = 3 progress on 1B (3/8)TRAVEL NoneOPTIONAL ENGAGE NoneFORCED ENGAGE: Troll, CrowsATTACKER Troll DEFENDER Denethor SHADOW +1 AttackTroll Atk 7 vs Denethor Def 3 = 4 damagePitch Lore of Imladris and a Daughter of the Nimrodel to boost Denethor to Defense 5Denethor takes 2 damage (2/3)ATTACKER Crows UNDEFENDED; SHADOW No effectCrow Atk 1 does 1 damage to GlorfindelREFRESH charactersIncrease THREAT by 1 to 31ROUND 2GAIN 3 Resource Points (new total 5)DRAW Radagast's CunningPLAY Forest Snare on Troll for 3 (new total 2)Spend a Resource from Glorfindel and Heal 1 damage from Glorfindel (0/5) (new total 1)QUEST Glorfindel (3 WP)REVEAL Eastern Crows (30/1) SURGE Evil Storm (no effect)RESOLVE 3 WP vs 1 TH = 2 progress on 1B (5/8)TRAVEL NoneOPTIONAL ENGAGE NoneFORCED ENGAGE: CrowsATTACKER Crows UNDEFENDED; SHADOW +3 if Undefended!!Crow Atk 4 does 4 damage to GlorfindelATTACKER Crows UNDEFENDED; SHADOW no effectCrow Atk 1 does 1 damage to BeravorDenethor Atk 1 vs Crow Def 0 does 1 damage, killing itBeravor Atk 2 vs Crow Def 0 does 2 damage, killing itREFRESH charactersIncrease THREAT by 1 to 32ROUND 3GAIN 3 Resource Points (new total 4)DRAW Gandalf's SearchEXHAUST Beravor, draw Miner of the Iron Hills and Radagast's CunningPLAY Daughter of the Nimrodel for 3 (new total 1)Spend a Resource from Glorfindel and Heal 1 damage from Glorfindel 3/5) (new total 0)EXHAUST Daughter of the Nimrodel to Heal 2 damage to Glorfindel (1/5)QUEST Glorfindel (3 WP)REVEAL Eastern Crows (30/1) SURGE Treacherous Fog (no effect)RESOLVE 3 WP vs 1 TH = 2 progress on 1B (7/8)TRAVEL NoneOPTIONAL ENGAGE NoneFORCED ENGAGE: CrowsATTACKER Crows UNDEFENDED; SHADOW no effectCrow Atk 1 does 1 damage to Glorfindel (2/5)Denethor Atk 1 vs Crow Def 0 does 1 damage, killing itREFRESH charactersIncrease THREAT by 1 to 33ROUND 4GAIN 3 Resource Points (new total 3)DRAW Lore of ImladrisPLAY Nothing (new total 3)EXHAUST Daughter of the Nimrodel to Heal 2 damage to Denethor (0/3)QUEST Glorfindel (3 WP)REVEAL Wargs (20/2) RESOLVE 3 [...]

Session: Love Letter:: Love Letter in the Office

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 12:11:45 +0000

by pdzoch Today for our Game Lunch Friday event, I brought Love Letters. Three of my co-workers (Pat, Tammy, and Corietha) attended the game lunch today. None of them had ever played this game before. Tammy had heard of it and even gave it as a gift to a friend earlier in the year, but she had not played it. She was most interested in learning how to play.I handed each player the player aid card and explained the rules, laying out each card and explaining the rule for each card. They were immediately concerned by all the different rules and the expectation to know what every other player had. I pointed out the “stars” on the card to indicate the number of those types of cards in the set, which is also provided on the player aid. But they were certain they would get the hang of it once we started playing.Round 1Pat stated he goes on a date with his wife every weekend, so he started first, and received a bunch of teasing from everyone else.Pat play a Guard, took a wild guess for the Princess in Corietha’s hand, which did not reveal the Princess. He immediately pointed out that it felt like a guessing game.Tammy’s first card was play was the Baron, which she then compared her hand with Pat, who was eliminated with his Guard card. I was concerned right away as Pat was eliminated from the round so quickly and he did not get much play value on his first card.When Tammy’s turn came again, she played the second Baron card, and chose Corietha to compare hands. Corietha had the lowest card (Priest) and was eliminated from the round.Tammy’s third play was the Guard card, and she guessed that Patrick had the King and was correct.Tammy won the first Token of Affection.Round 2This round went better, though we kept forgetting that we had Handmaidens in play which protected us from the actions of the other cards, but could not keep us from revealing our hands anyway.Corieth played the Baron card against Tammy, but lost and was eliminate Corietha (lost with a Prince!), but the rest of us survived to the end when Pat revealed he had the Princess.Pat won his first Token of Affection.Round 3By now, I could tell that Tammy was really getting into the game because she took the longest to make a decision on her card play. She would study all the cards that had been played, double check her player aid, then make a decision. It was smart playing, but much slower than the rest of us.Pat played a guard and made a lucky guess on the Countess in Patrick’s hand, eliminating Patrick.Corietha played a Baron to eliminate Tammy. And Pat promptly played his Baron to eliminate Corietha (who held the King), leaving only Pat in the end with the Princess.Pat won his second Token of Affection.Round 4No one was eliminated and all players were still in the game when the last card was played. Pat had the Princess again to win his third Token of Affection.Round 5Another full round played to the end. This time, Patrick held on Princess card in the end and won his first Token of Affection.Round 6Pat played a Baron to eliminate Corietha (who held a Handmaiden).Patrick played the Guard to guess that Pat[...]

Session: Austerlitz 1805: Rising Eagles:: Scenario 1 Davoult's defense on the Goldbach

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 11:54:23 +0000

by Lugbar Davoult's men defence on Tellnitz and Sokolnitz is one of these heroic actions that emulate young minds. It definitively has for me when I watched blue and white uniformed Playmobil recreated the Golbach river fight in my primary school years. It is a pity that Austerlitz is not explained anymore in the French Schools. Only the SE bound train station in Paris still celebrates the event.It is a great learning scenario, with a good variety of infantry, cavalry, artillery, special terrain and command. Very short in time with immediate action over 5 turns only, it is easy to play solo or even 2-player in a beer and pretzel afternoon. Faced with the whole of 4 columns, Davout has mainly a reactive role, though he can always look for counterattack opportunity with troop at hand and reinforcement. 7 A.M.Moving 4 columns to break the French right takes most of the attention of the Austro-Russian command. No contact is made. Davout is aware of the enemy advance in the fog. He pushes the just arrived Legrand’s division reinforcement into Sokolnitz. 2 VP (only 2 initial flags for the Austro-Russians)8 A.M.The Coalition tries to take the bridges on the move. There is no limit in activation in this scenario, so 10 coalition activations will happen each turn on this front. It may not be the case in the overall battle, where end of turn may push you to choose other columns on the battlefield.First to move is Dokhturov en route to Tellnitz. A first onslaught on both Tellnitz and Sokolnitz ends up in a stalemate but enables placement of artillery. The Siever battery opens a heavy fire on Tellnitz forcing back the 33 regiment deeper in the village. The Tellnitz bridge and objective are taken immediately.The 3rd Column attempts an assault on Sokolnitz castle, the Tirailleurs du Pô resist taking heavy casualty. More attacks and fire is exchanged but to no avail. At last French 108th de Ligne arrives to boost the line. General Friant is briefed by Davoult on the situation.A special “citation” for the infantry of Legrand 26th Light Regiment, which resists to 4 assaults in an orchard, routing a Russian regiment. Buxhowden plays his role by rallying them. 5 VP (with 3 flags in Austro-Russian hands) 9 A.M. The numerous coalition artillery is in place for a more organized advance on the French position. The 4 columns largely outnumber the French defenders clustered around the few houses of Tellnitz and Sokolnitz. Only the river limits the coalition deployment. Orders are to take all objectives in next hour before moving beyond the river en masse....stay tuned folks [...]

Session: Charterstone:: An Automa system so good, it plays itself. (Contains SPOILERS)

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 00:42:45 +0000

by kredal

Sessions of legacy games should always be assumed to have spoilers, I think. So spoiler warning, but I'm not going to tag the entire post...

I managed to pick up a second copy of Charterstone, and wanted to do this from when I started working on it way back in the day. (I am the guy who put together all of the playtest copies for Jamey and the playtesters so nobody besides me got spoiled on story and gameplay elements.)

Anyways, this will be a running log of my 6-Automa game. A couple ground rules I've adjusted to make it go a little faster, and try to keep things simple and build a nice looking board.

- Automa strength will always be 2. No need to increase the scores as games go on just for the sake of increasing them. I'm happy with where the scores ended up after game 1, so I'll keep it there.

- If an Automa unlocks a crate that gives it buildings, it will keep one of the new buildings randomly, and build from those before building from the advancement deck.

- When an Automa builds a building, it will keep the constructed building card rather than discarding it. It will then use those constructed building cards at the Charterstone spot before going to the deck.

- When an Automa advances the progress token to a Reputation spot, it will gain reputation. The reputation track will be effectively limitless. Automa don't go through their reputation disks nearly fast enough, so they have to burn them faster when they can.

I think those are the only rule mods I made to do this.

So, I've completed game 1, my Automa all have names of AI's, as seen here:

The map can be seen here:

The scores ended up all between 36 and 44, four players got 4 stars, two got 3. The green player won, which is why the rest of the players named her charter Loserville. What can I say, computers are mean.

Purple got lucky and just kept building things. Between games 1 and 2, he'll be keeping all of the constructed building cards, but after game 2, anything he hasn't done (save 1) will be discarded for game 3. I will be giving charters their quota circles concentrating on cards and minions. If I unlock all 6 minions by the end of the campaign, they will only be able to keep 4 of them between games.

I'll update this thread after each game with a current map layout at the very least, maybe pictures of the front and backs of charter chests. Thanks for reading!

Session: Britannia:: Across the Inner Seas - a Solo Session testing a new Ireland variant - blow by blow account

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 02:33:37 +0000

by millenium_baby The situation at start. Roman Legions under Aulus Plautius are ready to invade. Will they manage to land in Hibernia this game as well?These are my notes from a recent playtest of the Ireland variant Across the Inner Seas. Some of it might be repetitive, as loads of details are included. I cut down a couple of pictures. I made two each round, changed cameras after the first rounds to get better results. Hope this amuses some. The game was a blast, I had so much fun, especially with the Irish raiding Ireland and the Vikings plundering across the isles. Note this version merges the Dubliners with the Norsemen into one Nation. To balance this, the Angles are split into 3 Nations. Details can be found in the file section. Enjoy. Round IRomans invade and submit Welsh and Belgae (loosing 3 armies 2 in Battles against Welsh 1 fighting the Belgae). Plautinus supporting the battles in the Welsh Mountains. Welsh and Belgae are reduced to one army per area as a consequence of submission. Boudicca does not like this new rule and revolts. The Belgae burn the forts in Essex and South Mercia killing one additional Roman army. Round IIRomans down to 12 armies, no replacements. Romans push into Cumbria, York and Bernicia. With 7 Roman armies Agricola engages the 5 Belgae armies lead by Boudicca in Essex and South Mercia. All Belgae armies and 5 Roman armies end up in the death pile. Three Brigantes kill the one Roman army and the fort in Cumbria for 8 VPs. Romans in Essex re-built the fort at the end of the turn (this is possible in AtiS during the first three rounds). There are no Romans in South Mercia to re-build in Round 2. Round IIIRomans down to 6 armies. This test game will not be about an alternative history Roman landing in Ireland. Although 3 armies ferry over from Gaul as reinforcements, the Romans have not enough armies to force Brigantes into Submissions (pockets of Brigantes resistance remain in Cumbria, Pennines and Galloway. They take Strathclyde, Dunedin and Dalriada, re-built the fort in South Mercia. Final Roman Round 3 score, 10 VP in Wales, 34 in England, 10 in Scotland and 1 for the Welsh held Isle of Man. A Brigantes attack against Cheshire with three armies against one Roman army and one Roman fort is repulsed by the latter. Eoganachta raid Dyfed with three armies and burns the fort for 6 VPs, withdraws for another 2 VPs (in Across the Inner Seas, the Irish Nations earn points if they withdraw after raiding – a raiding marker is placed showing the Nation responsible for raiding – each British area can only be targeted once for Irish raiding). Laigin raid Cumbria (fail) and Avalon burning the Roman fort there. The Image shows the situation at the end of round 3. Note the yellow marker that indicate Roman touch points for submitted Nations. Round IVRoman receive one reinforcement in the Channel. Picts raid from Mar, burning the fort in Bernicia. Picts also move from Alban into Dunedin. Eoganachta raid Hwicce killing one Roman Army burning on Roman fort. Laigin Raid Gwen[...]

Session: 1754: Conquest – The French and Indian War:: One Cube Saves Saint Jean Twice: The Most Crazy Round We've Played Yet

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 02:33:31 +0000

by Theaty Hannington This four player, no expansions, 1754 game was one of the best rounds I've ever played of this game, or any other in the series. Lu and I, as the husband and wife French team, took on Andrew and Andrew playing the English.Historical OverviewTurn 1 saw the French push into Eastern Nova Scotia to try and secure some early points. The English kind of floundered around for a bit, but they had some good rolls on their defense of Halifax, Nova Scotia so they were not too far behind.Halifax, as painted by Charles Chichester.Turn 2 saw the English switch a muster point to Nova Scotia, from New York, meaning that the French forces were now overextended up there, but had a fantastic opportunity in the center of the map. Meanwhile, the Natives turned up on the 2nd slot, for the first time of four (They wouldn't turn up anywhere else for the rest of the game). The English abandoned some spaces to fortify their positions, and managed to snatch the French muster point at Saint Jean, in New Brunswick, a big blow to the French that they never recovered from.Fort Saint Jean.Turn 3 saw the French try to free their muster point. First, we surrounded Saint Jean. Then we invaded. On our first invasion, we chased everybody off except for one white cube. The second invasion brought six cubes against this one soldier, because we wanted to be able to defend what we were about to take. But then that soldier rolled a single hit, and on our roll all five of our units ran away. This one guy had defended the muster point twice due to all our units running away—all command decisions and flees after the white defending unit scored a hit each time. Ugh. This guy was a hero:The hero of Saint Jean.Then Lu invaded New York Harbor and took New York City, opening up the center of the map for some easy points.Turn 4 saw the English take the two-point Cape Breton Island space, and have a big push in the center, getting three points around the Great Lakes. This was a low point for the French forces. But the sheer number of fled French forces came back to haunt them in turn five.Fort OswegoTurn 5: Down 9-3, the French needed a miracle to win. Demoralized, the French played their last treaty card, saying out loud, "Well, this is hopeless, let's just end this." They used it to invade around the Great Lakes, attempting to negate all three points the English just took: two of those battles were easy, the two in Purple territory. But the third, over Fort Oswego, relied on the British rolling poorly. Luckily for Lu and I, Drew rolled to flee or retreat five units. "Ah," he said, referring back to the defense of Saint Jean, "That's what that feels like." But, there was still one British unit and one French unit, who had led a large Native force in. The French rolled a command decision on their yellow die, and two hits on the Green, eliminating the British and leaving just the natives standing, with nobody claiming that point, making the score 6-3. Bates then took one point for the English, I think i[...]

Session: Blood Rage:: From hell to heaven (or should i say Valhalla?)

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 02:33:22 +0000

by Sylvioze

Playing again, in the last 9 games i didn't win just once. And i now i'm thinking i'm not going to win again. Playing at four players, and seeing the other three in their 60's Glory points, and me just with 22. And we are in the end of the age II. But what i didn't expect was that the age III would be very generous to me.

Ragnarök would happen at Elvagar, and when the age II ends i'm sitting with three men (Leader plus two warriors) at the neighbor province Myrkulor which have just three points to be, so, i'm kinda safe right now.

In the draft of age III, i get good cards, but the ones that would help me the most were "Frigga's Sacrifice" (As your action, you may destroy 2 of your figures to raise one of your clan stats by one) and "Master in Arms" (Each pair of your warriors in a province is 6 total STR), and i already had "Lord of Axes" (If you successfully pillage with your leader, raise one of your clan stats by one) . I should mention that at that time only my rage stat were high (only the last one is missing), both helmets and axes were just in the second stat.

Like i said, Ragnarök would happen at Elvagar (which was empty, nobody was there).

Starting the age III the guy at my right places his Fire giant at Elvagar, so i marched to Elvagar, filling the last three places there. As next moves i played "Masters in Arms" then "Frigga's Sacrifice".
Hoping the rest of the guys would fight between each other and forget about me, i started to destroy my own men to raise my stats, AND I DID IT, i raised Helmets and Axes at the same level i was with rage, so, missing one of each.

Being very strong now that my pair of warriors were 6 STR, i pillaged Elvagar, gained it's reward (which were a rage stat), get 20 glory points here, plus 20, for raising another stat, then another 20 for completing a quest in Manheim, then ANOTHER 20 because of my "Loki's Eminence" which wolud gave me 2 points for each figure released from Valhalla, and i had 10 of them there.

Won the game by four points.

Session: Longstreet Attacks: The Second Day at Gettysburg:: Another Test, Another Challenge

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 02:32:48 +0000

by autism1601

I will post a full report next week (Christmas events makes my play as slow as Longstreet) but so far, Law, Robertson, Anderson and Benning have all decided to ignore any pre-attack orders and have run off on their own quixotic way.

Once again, CSA artillery fire managed to destroy the Union skirmish unit in Law's way and so he sprinted off to LRT, which is NOT were he was supposed to go in this test. Even worse (for CSA planning purposes), Robertson tagged along for the sprint. Both brigades got PAST Houck's ridge without any losses and they managed to get to LRT first. Robertson briefly ventured out onto Taneytown Road but he was checked by Weed's brigade, inflicted plenty of damage on Weed's men and then flinched, joining Law on LRT.

After both Vincent and Weed were badly beaten trying to climb LRT and reclaim it for the Union, the Union forces positioned themselves on three sides of LRT and just conducted firefights. This approach managed to pin Law/Robertson on the hill and so a stalemate commenced for four turns.

After a "No Guts, No Glory!" challenge was issued by Jefferson Davis (played by Hermann Luttmann), Law and Robertson have decided to come down off of LRT and make an attempt at reaching an "Automatic Victory Hex (Power's Hill)" in the Union rear.

After a very tough fight clearing Day's brigade from the lower northwest
slopes of LRT, both the 15AL and 5TX have been depleted. The rest of Law/Robertson's brigades are fresh though and they have some fighting to do. One event in the CSA's favor is that General Ayres went down and so his replacement's low command rating will semi-freeze all three of his brigades (Weed, Day, Burbank).

First, the shattered remnants of Vincent's Brigade and the semi-rebuilt (and probably semi-frozen) brigade of Weed are in the CSA's way. After those troops are beaten, Nevin's fresh brigade will be the next challenge for Hood's two rogue brigades. McCandless brigade will probably be able to get up in support of Nevin, if the Union forces can mount any type of defense.

If Law and Robertson can get through those two fresh brigades then only Burbank (another semi-frozen Ayres brigade) will stand in the CSA's way. Sickles is still commanding so it will be up to him to make the very tough decision to pull a brigade or two away from the McLaws front and send them to support the fighting near Taneytown Road.

This test is totally different from any other test that I have done but the game system seems to be handling it well.

stay tuned.....

Session: World in Flames:: Fascist Tide part deux, second report

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 02:32:45 +0000

by frenchiecanuck Here is a second session report for our Fascist tide game. As a reminder we have 4 players:Francois/GermanyJulie/ItalyMe/USSR-FranceShawn/CW-USAThis session will cover S/O 1940 to M/A 1941. We are still playing a reasonably fast clip. Psych report:Francois was and is flush and confident from a string of successesJulie is happily drinking grappa and smiling in the med sun.I am calm but not overly optimistic.Shawn is in shambles.Fall of 1940 (S/O to N/D)As stated oin the previous report, I as the Soviet supreme leader was anxiously waiting to see what Francois and his kraut hordes would do after beating down France. His initial moves in the early fall led to a sigh of temporary relief in the halls of the Kremlin. Indeed, Francois massed troops on the border of Vichy France (which he had established the prior turn) and ferried planes and a HQ to Italy. He also moved his subs to French ports and in terms of production put some TRS/Amph into the cycle. The Lufwaffe is massing in Northern France. It looked as if the Axis is moving to a Gibraltar-Sea Lion adventure with the Italians. Initial moves also saw Julie ferry some Italian ground troops to Egypt and moving them towards the eventual alignment of Iraq or Persia. Shawn as prime minister of the UK is a bit listless and lucking his wounds. He is rebuilding his royal navy's carrier force but also trying to churn out FTRs. He seems timid when it comes to bombing the Germans or trying to provoke the Italians in the Med. His fleet, most of its heavies, lies at anchor in Gibraltar un the cover of 2 FTRs. He is also busy repairing his convoy lines. I am packing the border but also establishing a defense in depth on the river lines. This is slow going with the neutral major power combined action only and I am churning out as much land and air as I can. My advice to Shawn is to try to provoke the Italian navy in some way and damage it. He remains hesitant.US entry means they are not all that near to declaring war and production has just been boosted by .25 by option 22. Iceland and Denmark are becoming crowded with GIs and USAF aviators. S/O 40 saw decent weather so Francois collapses Vichy and rolls south to mass on the Spanish border. The Italians move to occupy land in Morocco by sailing out 2 TRS and some ships. Shawn watches this and refuses to sail out saying he needs reinforcements. I am starting to believe he is channeling US civil war general George McLellan. Before the turn ends, Francois DoWs Spain and lauches his fall offensive there in conjunction with Italian landings in Morocco. Shawn watches this and adopts a wait and see approach. He seems content with sailing out part of his Royal Navy in the sea area to the North of Kiel to "prevent" the Kriegsmarine from coming out. N/D 40 has decent weather in general terms. The offensive in Spain goes well as the luftwaffe pounds the spaniard troops into flipped over status. The Ita[...]

Session: Eldritch Horror:: Business as Usual

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 02:32:28 +0000

by defiance718

We started playing with four investigators, Lily Chen, Marie Lambeau, Bob Jenkins and Roland Banks with Yig as our AO. Roland is our lead investigator.

Things are not going well, monsters are attacking the expedition in Antartica, Tokyo and Shanghai have open gates, one ongoing mythos card, one rumor, doom is at four and some of the investigators have two health/sanity remaining.

We started the mythos phase and drew a wonderful card. Its a yellow mythos card that forced us to draw three more yellow mythos cards from the box and resolve their effects. This combined with the icons of the mythos cards, (Advance Omen, Reckoning, Spawn Gates) caused doom to fall to zero, spawning more cultists at the expedition, and dark pacts, debts and other conditions to kill or drive to insanity all four investigators.

All in all just, business as usual for Eldritch Horror. (image)

Session: Eldritch Horror:: Yig awakens!

Sun, 10 Dec 2017 02:32:25 +0000

by defiance718

Started playing with 4 investigators, Lily Chen, Marie Lambeau, Bob Jenkins and Roland Banks. Roland is our lead investigator.

Things were not doing well, we have 2 gates open, the doom counter is at 4 and some of the investigators are hanging on to their lives/sanity by 2.

Then during the mythos phase we drew this beautiful card.

Abandon Hope
Icons: Advance Omen, Reckoning, Spawn Gates
Effect: Draw 3 Yellow Mythos cards from the game box and resolve the text effect of each. Then discard these cards.

We then drew a series of cards with the Advance Omen, Reckoning, and Spawn Gates icons.

Suddenly the doom counter falls to 0, there is a gate open in all but 3 of the named cities and there is a bunch of cultists in Antarctica where the expedition is. And finally the icing on the cake is that one of the mythos cards that we drew had this effect. Each investigator rolls 1 die and loses a total amount of Health and/or Sanity equal to the die result. And sure enough the results are either 5s or 6s, killing Lily and Bob while driving Roland insane. Happy Days!(image)

Session: Stalingrad Inferno on the Volga:: Another Stalingrad game?! Wait, not so fast!

Sat, 09 Dec 2017 13:29:58 +0000

by sduke I have had a prototype copy of Stalingrad: Inferno on the Volga for just a bit (the map came right after Thanksgiving, and I had a work trip in addition to family things), but I have had the time to notice some things that have me very excited about the game. The prototype map I have looks like the one you see on the kickstarter, with a 20 or so colored hexes near the river and lots of hexes with gray dim photography images. I understand that every hex is going to be colorized and improved. I read somewhere that they are dealing with each building within the hex on an individual basis, and saw a post where Emanuel said they spent a week of art time on just one of the factory complexes. So I can understand why the prototype is not 'finished' but I appreciate very much the level of detail that I can see in the hexes that are complete. Wow-- this is like traveling on some virtual reality program where you're walking down the streets of Stalingrad, just before the bombs start to fall. Yeah, I'm pumped about the map. The blocks are the usual high standards I've come to expect from VentoNuovo. He gets his blocks in Europe, not China, and I see sharp edges and corners and not wild variety of wood grains. The sticker set I have is the 'standard' and it's more of a computer print-out for playtesting, but it is clearly designed to be functional and easy to use. I'm trying to decide if my personal game will use the Designer or Icon stickers. Nice to have a choice. The cards are prototype, of course, but you can see the intentions very clearly. They have color photos of the people or weapons involved and have been nicely done (since I know most of these started out black and white). But the best part is how simple the designs are, in terms of what they do in the game. I'm seeing a few cards in the Stretch Goals that look like they will need a separate explanation, but for the base game, the cards are straightforward and even language independent. They give you some sort of benefit to damage the other side and the variety is interesting-- from a massive artillery bombardment that will throw a lot of dice, to snipers that just pick off a strength point... not devastating, but that irritating pin-prick that goes on and on. I wondered how they would capture something as small unit tactical as "snipers" in a game that is mostly battalion level. They got it. The feel is right. Cards are also a key part of the game because different things cause you to draw different numbers of cards, and, ultimately, the game ends when the Soviet deck runs out of cards. There are some things the German solitaire player can do to limit Soviet card draws, but other times it is just going to happen and you are pressured to capture your objectives more quickly and rashly than you might like to. If the Germans can set up a careful, set-piece [...]

Session: The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game:: Journey Down the Anduin - Solo single core Spirit deck

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 16:50:56 +0000

by Makofan After playing countless deck combinations with Passage through Mirkwood, and then a couple of two-player games of Journey Down the Anduin, I decided to tackle it Solo with the beginning decks. The idea was keep threat low, use Dunhere to snipe away at enemies, Gandalf for the troll. Quite a few times I did not use Elanor to cancel treacheries as I wanted to keep ahead in questing, and damage was my trade off. The game almost got away from me, but I hung in there and was lucky that the second troll was a shadow card. I finished on Turn 17 with 42 threat. Below is the blow by blowINITIAL DRAWNorthern Tracker, Hasty Stroke, Power in the Earth, Lórien Guide, Will of the West, The Galadhrim's GreetingDecide not to mulligan as I like Galadhrim's greeting and Northern TrackerInitial Threat 241A Setup - Dol Goldur Orcs, engagement 10, danger 2, (10/2) when revealed has no effect1B Setup - add Hill troll (30/1); need 8 progress (0/8)ROUND 1Get 3 resources (total 3)DRAW GandalfPLAY Galadhrim's Greeting for 3 (total 0)Reduce threat by 6 to 18QUEST with Eowyn (4)REVEAL Goblin Sniper (48/2)Total threat 5, Eowyn WP 4Pitch Power in the Earth to up Eowyn WP to 5QUEST RESULT: no threat increase, no progress (0/8)TRAVEL to nowhereOPTIONAL ENGAGEMENT: noneENGAGEMENT CHECK: Dol Goldur Orcs come downDol Goldur DEFENDED by Elanor; shadow is no effect; Atk 2 vs Def 2 = 0 damageDunhere ATTACKS Goblin Sniper, Atk 3 vs Def 0 and kills itCharacters are REFRESHEDTHREAT increases by 1 to 19ROUND 2Get 3 resources (total 3)DRAW Hasty StrokePLAY Lorien Guide for 3 (total 0)QUEST with Eowyn (4)REVEAL Gladden Fields (3)Total threat 4, Eowyn WP 4QUEST RESULT: no threat increase, no progress (0/8)TRAVEL to Gladden FieldsOPTIONAL ENGAGEMENT: noneENGAGEMENT CHECK: no new engagd enemiesDol Goldur DEFENDED by Elanor; shadow is to deal another shadow cardsecond shadow card is no effect; Atk 2 vs Def 2 = 0 damageDunhere & Lorien Guide attack Orcs, Atk 3 vs Def 0 and kill itCharacters are REFRESHEDTHREAT increases by 2 to 21 (extra from Gladden fields Active Location)ROUND 3Get 3 resources (total 3)DRAW GandalfPLAY nothing (total 3)QUEST with Eowyn & Lorien Guide(5), add 1 progress to Active Location (1/3)REVEAL Evil Storm (no impact as my threat is too low)Total threat 1, questing WP 5QUEST RESULT: 2 progress to clear Gladden fields (3/3)2 progress on quest (2/8)TRAVEL to nowhereOPTIONAL ENGAGEMENT: noneENGAGEMENT CHECK: no new engagd enemiesCharacters are REFRESHEDTHREAT increases by 1 to 22ROUND 4Get 3 resources (total 6)DRAW Favor of the LadyPLAY Gandalf for 5 (total 1); put 4 damage on trollQUEST nobody (0)REVEAL Gladden FieldsTotal threat 4, questing WP 0QUEST RESULT: raise threat by 4 to 26TRAVEL to Gladden FieldsOPTIONAL ENGAGEMENT: trollENGAGEMENT CHECK: no new engaged enemiesTroll ATTACKS Lorien Guide, sha[...]

Session: Here I Stand:: Where 27 VPs are enough for 3rd place...

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 16:50:27 +0000

by kadavriak This is a recap from our latest 6-player game (regular edition). I did not take any detailed notes, so most of this is from memory and is probably a bit off in some cases. We are all new to the game with only one or a couple of games under our belts so do not expect extremely well-thought gameplay all the time. I played as England. Sorry, no pretty pictures here, only text.Early game:England and France comes to an agreement about French non-involvement in Scotland in exchange for some possible support in the War against the Hapsburgs - England allows France to place a Fortress but the French king decides to play it defensively in Boulogne against a possible later English attack. Without French support, England captures Edinburgh with little resistance but the Scots later rebel and liberate the city. On a side note, I really like the changes to "phony wars" in general and Scotland in particular in the new edition.The French war against Hapsburgs is a disaster. The French king is busy building chateaus and sending explorers so Charles V sweeps in from Brussels and captures both Paris and Francis with some tercios and good dice rolling! Charles also captures Metz a little later. The French surrenders and award Hapsburgs a couple of War Winner VP. In Italy, the Pope captures Florence and starts building on Saint Peter's. The French-Papal war sees no offensive action. The Turks build troops and starts to advance through Hungary. The Protestants reform northern Germany and start working on the German Bible translations. The Barbary pirates enters early but have little pirating success.In America, several explorers are diverted to search for Eldorado but Cartier still manages to circumnavigate, putting France in a very strong position. The Emperor is not too happy. England and Hapsburgs each gain a 1VP discovery and Pizarro conquers the Mayans. France builds some colonies which nets them a couple of cards throughout the game. No colonization from neither England or Hapsburgs.Strong French gains in America but at the cost of a lost war back home.Mid game:Now things are getting interesting!The Turks soundly defeat Hungary and starts a sitzkrieg against Hapsburgs in central Europe, choosing to hold and build more troops before attacking Vienna. Pirates also harass Hapsburg holdings in the Mediterranean, gaining the Ottomans a couple of VPs. The piracy is hindered by a Hapsburg-Venetian alliance, but no large-scale naval battles take place. The Schmalkaldic League is formed with 5 Electorates (all but Köln or Trier) under Protestant control but the Hapsburgs still control the north-west part of Germany. The German Bible is finished and The Protestant faith spreads throughout all but southern Germany but not into France or England yet. Paul III is elected P[...]

Session: Super Sadistic Advanced Empire Builder:: 9-player game of Super Sadistic Advanced Empire Builder took nearly 15 hours!

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 11:50:24 +0000

by Eric Brosius While rearranging some things recently, my wife came across an artifact from a game I played in January 2000, almost 18 years ago. It's an oversized Empire Builder map (the original version, without Mexico) printed out on 9 sheets of regular 8.5" x 11" paper by Bruce Linsey, the designer of Super Sadistic Advanced Empire Builder. My family used to attend gaming cons hosted by Bruce and Krissi; these days we've taken over the hosting duties at our own house.Super Sadistic Advanced Empire Builder is a version of Empire Builder that is designed to require a longer period of building up your routes and upgrading your trains before you make the final rush for victory. For one thing, players start with "Slow Freights" that move only 6 mileposts a turn: earning the $20 million to upgrade to a regular Freight (moving 9 mileposts a turn) is a big accomplishment. Also, the contract cards pay less; if I recall correctly, the payoffs are only about 2/3 as much as those on ordinary Empire Builder cards. This means you need to start with a short local track network; those runs that cross half the country are more or less out in this variant. As a result, it takes quite a bit longer to play.That's true even with a normal complement of players (say, 3 to 5.) But for this game, Bruce organized a massive, 9-player game, using 9 different colors of colored pencil and 9 different colors of custom-painted metal trains. With more players, the routes for track become far more congested (and expensive.) Even more important, the disasters come up more often, at least per player turn (there are still the same number of Rail Tax cards in a deck of the same size, but with 9 players drawing new cards (and often dumping cards,) it will take fewer of your turns on average before one is drawn. This is also why he blew up the map: if 9 players are going to sit around a game map for many hours, it had better be big enough for everyone to have access.It was a 2-day affair: we began play on January 16, 2000 and broke for the night before the game was finished, continuing to completion on January 17. It took 14h 45m of game time to complete the game. I won the game (delivering Oil to Los Angeles for a paltry $17 million,) and Bruce signed the map for me. My wife found the map yesterday. In addition to the date(s) and playing time, the 9 players are listed: Eric, Charlie, Nelson, John, Todd, Adam, Sarah, Bruce and Mike (playing Red, Dark Blue, Black, Light Blue, Purple, Orange, Pink, Green and Yellow, respectively.)Because I still have the map, with the ending routes drawn on it, I can tell you a little about the track. Every single Small and Medium City was locked out with the single exception of Montreal, which had only two players c[...]

Session: Eclipse:: Four player base game and not decided by Plasma Torps

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 11:50:19 +0000

by Gutrender Had an interesting 4-player game. I don't play enough to know all the names and didn't take notes. I was the white Mechanema, to my left was the Draco guys who coexist with the elder races, then the hulking brute looking fellows known as the Orions and finally to my right the Hydrans.Game opened as one might generally expect but some bad luck seemed to dominate. Draco spent too much time on exploring III spaces and only encountered two elder races for the entire game. Hydrans encountered an elder race in the second area they explored and had the absolute worst luck in combatting them. Sent what should have been an overwhelming force of Interceptors and proceeded to roll s and s about 50% of the time. Only got a single hit before loosing all four slightly upgraded Interceptors, really set them back. Orions seemed to have all the luck, exploring sectors with good resource potential. I was feeling bad luck haunted me as well, only got mediocre systems to settle so did not get much of an economy going but thought I could catch up with a stab at the Galactic Center and sent a force of two nicely upgraded Dreadnoughts there, which unfortunately arrived ust after the Orions sent two Dreadnoughts. Orions then built and sent three Cruisers - they had pretty good luck with their explorations and had acquired Advanced Mining as part of that. I was creamed and felt completely out of things - this was Turn 4 I believe - 'only two dreadnoughts but I had good and extensive upgrades.For the rest of the game I sat back quietly and egged on the others - "Look at how well the Orions are doing!" ... "They have Galactic Center for 4 points and look at their income!" ... "Wow, I just noticed they have 3 glory tokens, you know there are least two 4s in there!" While I picked up the Monolith Technology and built up my materials resource. Last turn the Draco's made a stab for the Galactic Center. Three cruisers with two Plasma Torps each plus a +3 & a +2 targeting computer (12 dice hitting on a or greater) supported by two Dreadnoughts and an Interceptor; Orions had a -2 shield on their ships). Draco destroyed two Dreadnoughts and 3 Cruisers with just the Plasma Torps. Oh my goodness what a sight. This was every ship except for a single Orion Interceptor. Oh, and the four Orion Starbases, which wiped out all but the Draco Interceptor. Battle ended with four Orion starbases controlling the Galactic Center. But Wait, There's More! The Hydrans took a shot at the Orion Homeworld and won. And finally final on the final the Mechema, the quiet quiet Mechenemas sitting in the corner "I'm just building up my production points so I can help you guys take out the Orions" built five monoliths.Mechenema[...]

Session: Comanchería: The Rise and Fall of the Comanche Empire:: Onto the Plains - [Session 2.1]

Fri, 08 Dec 2017 11:50:02 +0000

by Snowdog_2112 Greetings folks. I am now attempting my second session of the scenario 9.2 “Onto the Plains” which absolutely crushed me last time through.I will label these sessions 2.X, where X will be sequential and essentially summarize one to two "rounds" each ending with an Operations Clean Up. This will make for shorter threads and time for me to recover from mistakes you all find :-)Again, thanks to all who followed the session and offered rules tips and overall encouragement.I hope to do better this time!In an effort to make this more readable/enjoyable and maybe get to more of a narrative rather than a roll by roll report, I think I am going to post a summary of moves by the Comanche and the Enemy response in CleanUp followed by photos so we can all watch progress “in real time”.As the game progresses the enemy will undoubtedly create war columns and precipitate battles which will all be handled prior to Clean Up phases, so I think this process will work. In fact just about everything happens before a cleanup phase, even Passage of Time and Planning, so I think we have a plan!I’m also going straight to iPad with Google Docs and photos rather than taking notes with pen&paper, although it was an invaluable exercise as I learned the game. This time we will just do "after action reports" with fewer dice rolling details and follow each clean up phase with photos. I hope this works!I plan on doing two photos, an “action” photo and an overhead “full board status” shot. After set up it looks like this:Legend:Gray/Black Huts.........................1st Nations TribesRed Huts...................................RancheriasCylinders..................................Enemy Home Spaces (these won’t move)Yellow/Green/Blue Houses............Colonial SettlementsCows.......................................BisonHouseCat.................................Out of Play :-)So on to Game 2!Prep: Set Up per 9.2 “Onto the Plains”Note the presence of “War of Spanish Succession”Take Culture Card HORSEMANSHIP 1.Note Win Conditions - 2 Rancherias in different territories, Control of UA.3.1We just started, so no war columns out3.2PoT counter in START, I will refer to this as space “0” followed by 1 + 2 prior to reaching the first numbered space at “3”.3.3Player ActionsI choose to activate RanchA and develop 2 x (2-5) war bands.I send the first on a HUNT from UA1 to UA2 and return with BISON. I send the second to RAID from UA1 to UA4. I draw 4+2 EAPsI RAID again at UA4 and draw 3EA+Success. I return with CAPTIVES.I place a RAVAGED token on UA4.Burn one horse Both bands are now FINISHED back inside the RanchA.Move OPS counter down one space to “1”.3.4Operatio[...]

Session: Gloomhaven:: The Doom Patrol - Part I (spoilers)

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 23:59:26 +0000

by Rob Watkins 2nd edition Gloomhaven box arrived. It was nigh time to jump off the deep end and see how we would do. Multiple people asserted we would be absolutely nuts to try to play Gloomhaven at level 7 difficulty on every scenario from the beginning until the very end. But we are trying it anyway. A friend asserted that he did not feel a sense of accomplishment from playing Gloomhaven. This was my response to that issue. If we could beat difficulty 7 scenarios, we would feel a major sense of accomplishment.Two friends showed up today to venture forth in this harsh version of Gloomhaven. I am still somewhat astonished that I have two friends that are gluttons for the punishment that difficulty 7 Gloomhaven would mete out. We had spent several hours analyzing the starting characters and party compositions prior to the game arriving. We decided the first two characters would be the scoundrel and the mind thief. When we added a third player, we added a cragheart.Prosperity 1.0, Reputation 0. Level 1 cragheart, level 1 mind thief, level 1 scoundrel.We each picked up a minor stamina potion at start. Scoundrel and mind thief each bought a cloak of invisibility. Cragheart saved money for the future. We lost 3 reputation on the way to the Black Barrow (C12A, R19B). Yikes, +1 cost on all purchases already. The cragheart plopped down four obstacles in the first two turns, creating a bunker with only one entrance against the 6 normal bandit guards. We chewed through them, and moved onto the next room. Mind thief's push 3 dispatched the elite bandit guard, pushing him through a pair of 7 damage traps. We finished off the three archers and entered the final room on fumes (first room alone takes 96 damage to clear). The cragheart managed to jump to the treasure chest before we all exhausted. This opened up S71. We were quite pleased that we defeated two thirds of the difficulty 7 Black Barrow with a level 1 prosperity 1 party and also looted the treasure chest.C24B gave Gloomhaven +1 prosperity tick. Cragheart and the scoundrel each purchased blessings at the great oak. Cragheart paid 21 gold for boots of striding. R08B gave us 3 damage at the start of our next incursion into Black Barrow. We once again made it into the final room, only to get obliterated by the withering onslaught of living bones and bandit archers. We staggered back to Gloomhaven and increased prosperity by one box with C29B. Cragheart bought a warhammer, Scoundrel purchased eagle eye goggles.Prosperity 1.2, Reputation -3 tick (+1 cost on all purchases). Level 1 cragheart, level 1 mind thief, level 1 scoundrel. [...]

Session: Kingdom Death: Monster:: Campaign: Spamazonia, years 16-20

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 22:32:39 +0000

by spiralingcadaver (continued from part 1, including its modifications, and part 2, part 3)NB: This is simpler formatting of what first appeared on my blogYear 16Well, first we needed to fight the level 3 Manhunter.We had a Green Savior on the Vagabond armor with our Black Sword, who did most of the heavy lifting, with an unusual secondary damage dealer of our weirdly statted shield master who moves really slow but hits like a truck. Our Red Savior got hamstrung, which is the first time I think that's changed a lot, somehow losing her magical aura when her leg didn't work so well? IDK.The fight was pretty awesome, and was one of the first where we felt like we were really rolling. Also, this was the first time that we were able to really utilize the Pulse Lantern, doing about 1/3 of his health before we hit the trap.On top of this, the reward for winning was pretty solid, with the inefficient plan that we eventually decided on, of stripping Zero Presence off our Twilight Knight, since it was easier than stripping off a disorder right now.Oh, and we stole his hat again, or, I guess we knocked it on the ground, since we're only allowed one.Year 16.1We then got to choose whom to fight. As per our initial campaign decision, we fought a Level 2 Slenderman rather than one of the standard ones. It didn't hurt that we were more interested in its rewards.We took two Green saviors (one on the ridiculous Vagabond build with luck for good measure), our (not great) Axe mistress, and a guy training Grand Weapons.This was one hell of a slog: his first few moves made him well out of range or untargetable, then we got maybe 5 wounds in, then he kept dancing around while we plinked him for maybe 1 wound a turn, with maybe 3-4 traps in here (the second one at the top; the last one thankfully the second from bottom of the deck), and a whole lot of close calls and disappeared survivors.Right near the end, things turned when we were able to bunch up to cause some damage, and then in a flurry of blows, the Vagabond Savior reset everyone's insanity with a crit, and did something like 5 wounds in a turn?Either way, one of my favorite fights in a while. There were several times where a different hit location would have made things much worse.Year 17Spiderlings showed up again, and this time we fought them off, getting our Twilight Swordsman a proficiency, then he got his second when the Twilight Knight came to town, and they had a jolly duel that meant that I (who usually end up training both Fist and Tooth and Twilight Sword in the group) got to completely bypass dealing with the Cumbersome start to training. Huzzah!The Manhunter came to town, and t[...]

Session: Blood Rage:: Visions of Fimbulvetr (2)

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 22:31:27 +0000

by Old Dwarf Blood Rage-Game 1-Round 2Aslaug felt the power of Freyia's Geas ,she had resisted the Visions were so draining but the Goddess would not be denied. The Priestess found herself back at the temple's altarshe emptied the horn and spread the thick ox blood carefully over the altars surface.Then with a bloody hand reached for the Henbane & threw it into the brazier.The sacred smoke rose up and Aslaug breathed it in feeling the floating motion instantly.She expanded her senses outward ,rising up she viewed the World Tree and its Provinces,Horgr and Myrkvlor were Dark but Loki remained in Elvarar and Tyr in Angerroda .The Priestess felt the familiar tug downward to the roots of Yggrdasil to the Cave ofthe Norns. She settled in behind Skuld who was reaching for another Fate Yarn threadfrom the Fimbulvetr basket. The Norn held the Fate Thread up and viewed its contentsand Aslaug viewed the Visions over her shoulder. Again the Fate Thread showed theworlds in chaos as the Clans competed for the favor of the Gods and the Glory ofValhalla. Muspelheim Province was a hotbed with 2 Wolf Clan Warriors facing offWarriors of Bear,Serpent and Raven Clans . Gilmi saw the Bear ClanWarrior and theClans Dwarf Chieftain mercenary opposed by Warriors of the Serpent and Raven Clans.Andlang Province held a Clan Raven Leader and Utgard a Serpent Clan Warrior.TheSerpent Clan Leader held Yggdrasil.The first Vision rose quickly, the Raven Fleet Invades Gimle/Myrkvlor Fjord ,The Serpent Clan Invokes Thor's Domain, Bear Clan swears to a Quest andWolf Clan Marches a Warrior from Muspelheim to Yggdasil.The Vision switches to Raven Clan taking a Quest,Serpent Clan Pillagesunopposed Utgard, Bear Clan Leader invades Andlang, Wolf Clan Leaderinvades Andlang in response.Another Vision comes to view,Raven Clan swears another Quest,TheShield Maidens of Serpent Clan summons Loki's Eminence,Bear Clansummons Tyr's Challenge. Clan Wolf 's Warrior Marches from Yggdrasilback to Muspelheim.The Fate Thread continues to be pulled and Visions continue,The Raven Clanprepares to Pillage Gimle and reinforce it's Warrior and Fleet with the Clan Leadercoming in from Andlang. A Serpent Warrior and Bear Clans Warrior plusit's Dwarf Chieftain oppose. The Clans offer up appeals to the Gods,Bear and Raven Clans go unanswered but Serpent Shield Maidens are favored byTyr's Rage allowing the outnumbered Serpents to win the battle.Gimle is saved from Pillage and the forces of Bear and Raven Clans are sent to Valhalla. Serpent Clanloses no time after it's victory and it's Fleet Invades the Fjord between Angerroda/Elvagar. The Bear Clan takes a Quest an[...]

Session: The Sands of War:: Session Report: Mansour

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 22:27:19 +0000

by chris99 Lebanon is a subject of interest to me since it's where my wife is from. One of the numerous times the Israelis invaded their northern neighbor was at the height of the bloody civil war. Like the US 3 decades later, rolling tanks in was easy. What came after the days-long blitzkreig was the true test.Mansour is one of the three 1982 Lebanon scenarios in the SOW game. In it an Israeli brigage-sized task force is racing southeast to get to the Beirut-Damascus highway before the cease-fire at noon. The often-used mountainous maps of 4 and 3 are the battlefield. One bit of errata: The town of Mansour should be the two-hex town on map 3, not map 4, or the Israelis would start the game literally on top of the Syrians. One other item of note is the terrain; unlike the other two Lebanon scenarios, vehicles CAN ascend levels while not on a road. So the Israelis don't necessarily need to drive straight through Monsour into the Syrian tanks. Also, I don't have any of the Syrians set up in firing positions since the scenario doesn't specify that (other scenarios do). Anyway, at this point in my SOW journey, I've realizes it really sucks to be the attacker. (Maybe every tactical game is like that where the defenders can fire at moving units)The Israelis only need to exit 10 units off the south edge of Map 4 on/adjecent to the road. They have two tank battalions (one of Merkavas!) and a mech platoon of infantry and M-113s. And a LOT of FOs. And a drone. (Sorry, RPV). And lots and lots of artillery. And two F-4s. The Syrians have 9 T-72s. And a mech platoon with BMPs. And an ACRV (why do they need that?). But they have to set up within 5 hexes of Monsour so they basically cover the area. The T-72 set up west, ready to engage.Turn 1 the Israelis move their FOs onto the high ground and hide the M577. Then the tanks come in, rushing south. All 6 of the DPCIM falls on the Syrians, and damages some tanks, but otherwise doesn't do much. When the Syrians realize the Israelis are going to flank south and then cut east, they move all of their BMPs south.And then I learn how powerful missiles can be. The Israeli tanks did not have good aiming and did not affect the T-72s much. But the BRDMs and BMPs took a heavy toll. The Mech battalion was devestated. There was a mad push to the exit by a few tanks of both battalions and few stray M113s, but as they came over the hill toward the southern road, many were hit by the BMP missiles. Eventually the Israeli Mech battalion broke and that was it for the victory conditions. The Syrian ZSU-23 never took out the RPV, the F-4s never did much, nor [...]

Session: The Legend Begins:: Playing the full the campaign game

Thu, 07 Dec 2017 13:27:30 +0000

by ThierryM A few months ago, a friend and I decided we would go and play the campaign game to the end,I reported the sessions on Consimworld, one week-end at a time, and I thought it might be of interest to give a concise summary here.***At start, the initiative is with the Axis, who must strike with the Italians as deep as possible into Egypt. The Allies have few units, and it's probably best for them to defend in depth, rather than try to hold near the frontier. From the start, recon units proved valuable as they could slow down enemy columns with little risk to themselves, and were easily replaced anyway.The Italians had to drag along their infantry, so they couldn't really go far - and the further east they went, the more open they were to encirclement and isolation. In the end they managed to just reach Sidi Barrani, but not take it, before the counter-strike. One word about objectives: in the campaign game, victory is obtained by getting a non-isolated unit to the enemy end of the map, which in effect means destroying the enemy army, as it is trivial otherwise to cut the line of communication. That's the long goal, but to facilitate that, players need to control airfields and ports - to ferry supplies and base their air force. Sidi Barrani is such an airfield.The Allied counter-strike went through, once they had enough troops. Their tanks were better, and their infantry as well, and the Italians are much less effective in defense when isolated, so the Commonwealth should try to pocket the enemy forces as much as possible before reducing them. It did not really happen that way this time, as the Italians managed to mount limited local counter-offensives that failed, but caused lots of losses for both sides. The Italian army is out-gunned, in the main, but it is still possible to build a few mobile groups that can blunt an offensive. Isolated armor is particularly vulnerable to this. At the end of the first act, before the Germans arrived, the Italians were besieged in Tobruk but had an organized defense further West, with mobile reserves. The Ariete armored division was about to arrive as reinforcement, and Tobruk was (too) well supplied.Axis supplies and reinforcements appear in Italy and have to cross by convoy before they can get used. The crossing is a dangerous operation, depending on how reinforced Malta is, and spending resources to escort the convoys or for the Allies, to build up Malta, is important. A large number of Axis reinforcements sank before they reached the theater.The Ariete division made its way to the front, but a[...]